Assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on access of HIV care and Antiretroviral Therapy at selected health facilities in Bushenyi District, Uganda.
There is a great concern about the impact of COVID-19 among the nearly 40 million people living with HIV worldwide. Therefore, purpose of this study was to assess the impact of COVID-19 on access of HIV care and antiretroviral therapy at the selected health facilities in Bushenyi district, Uganda. A retrospective cross-sectional study involving HIV medical records of 377 participants from selected health facilities in Bushenyi district including KIU-TH, Bushenyi HCIV and IAH. Files were selected using simple random sampling from the corresponding health facility. Data was analyzed using SPSS V.23.0. It was found that majority 311(82.5%) of the participants were old patients who were tested and initiated on ART whereas 66(17.5%) were new patients who were tested and initiated on ART. Of the participants who were newly tested and initiated on ART (n=66), majority 40(60.6%) of them were before Covid-19 lockdown while 26(39.4%) of the participants were tested for HIV and initiated on ART during lockdown (P=0.003). Ninety one (24.1%) of the respondents had missed return date scheduled for ART refill (n=377). Of the participants who missed return date for drug refill, more than a half 47(51.6%) missed during lockdown whereas 44(48.4%) missed before lockdown. There was a significant association Covid-19 lockdown and missed return date for ART refill (p<0.001). The researcher concluded that Covid-19 especially lockdown had a significant impact on access to HIV care and antiretroviral therapy uptake by reducing the number of new people who were tested and initiated on ART and missed visits for ARVs refill and recommended government should consider special programs for HIV delivery services like contact tracing for delivery of ARVs to the patients’ homes in case of another pandemic requiring lockdown.
Keywords: ART, HIV, Covid-19, Covid-19 lockdown.
HOW TO CITE
Funda Daniel Micheal and Albert Nyanchoka Onchweri (2023). Assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on access of HIV care and Antiretroviral Therapy at selected health facilities in Bushenyi District, Uganda. INOSR Scientific Research 9(1):1-12.