Thu, 03 Dec 2020

Recent data collection has shown that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a

Recent data collection has shown that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on HIV testing services, but the impact on HIV treatment has been less than originally feared. The impact on services for the prevention of vertical transmission of HIV (from mother to child) is mixed-by April, countries generally saw a decline in the number of women tested for HIV at their first antenatal clinic visit, but by June that decline had been revered.

As of August 2020, the UNAIDS, World Health Organization and United Nations Children's Fund data collection exercise to identify national, regional and global disruptions of routine HIV services caused by COVID-19 had collected data on the prevention of vertical transmission of HIV from 43 countries, of which 17 countries reported data that enable the identification of trends.

To measure the impact of COVID-19 on vertical transmission of HIV services, a ratio was calculated relative to January-for example, if the number of women reached in April was the same as in January, the ratio is 1; if there was a decline, the ratio is less than 1.

All countries except Mozambique and Jamaica experienced declines in women tested for HIV at their first antenatal clinic visit in April compared to January. By June or July, 14 of the 17 countries were back to the February level of testing (all except Indonesia, Botswana and Sierra Leone).

Among the 15 countries reporting on treatment among pregnant women living with HIV, all but five have recovered to the February numbers of women receiving treatment (except Botswana, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Togo and Guatemala).

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