THE IMPACT OF THE PANDEMIC CAUSED BY COVID-19 ON THE EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STATE OF HIV INFECTION IN UKRAINE
HIV infection is a human disease with progressive dysfunction of the body's immune system and a long asymptomatic course.
In 2021, there were 42 million HIV-positive people in the world. Today, 341,084 infected people are officially registered in Ukraine. One in one hundred citizens aged 15 to 50 is a carrier of retrovirus. In 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed the beginning of a pandemic of a new infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The report of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS and the data of International Charitable Foundation "Public Health Alliance" («Альянс громадського здоров’я») state that COVID-19 can seriously disrupt the health care system as well as medical services providing to HIV-infected people in many countries.
Objective. To study the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the current HIV epidemic and case registration in Ukraine.
Materials and methods. To complete the tasks, the statistical and epidemiological data of the WHO and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine on the current epidemiological state of HIV infection during 2017–2021 and COVID-19 during 2020–2021 were used.
The results of epidemiological studies were processed with the help of the method of variation statistics using computer programs Microsoft Office Excel 2010, SPSS Statistics and online calculator (http://medstatistic/calculators/calchit.html).
Results and discussion. The epidemiological data provided by the WHO, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and the International Charitable Foundation "Public Health Alliance" on the epidemiological status of HIV infection in 2017–2021 and COVID-19 during 2020–2021 were analyzed.
The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected the provision of diagnostic, preventive and curative services to HIV-infected people. This is confirmed by a decrease in the number of rapid tests for retrovirus in 2020 by 4.1 times compared to 2019. The reduction in the number of new cases of HIV, AIDS and mortality from terminal disease in 2020–2021 occurred by an average of 1.5–2.4 times compared to the period before the pandemic caused by coronavirus. These data simultaneously correlated with an increase in COVID-19 cases, the number of rapid tests for coronavirus, and were inversely proportional.
The COVID-19 pandemic will significantly increase the incidence of HIV in Ukraine and raise the number of new AIDS cases and deaths.
Conclusions. The pandemic caused by COVID-19 affected the provision of diagnostic, prophylactic and treatment services to HIV-infected people. There is an inversely proportional trend between the number of confirmed cases of HIV infection and cases of COVID-19. The increase in the incidence of COVID-19 occured in the autumn–winter period, which corresponded to the period of declining levels of HIV diagnosis.
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