Effect of COVID 19 on older adults 50 years and above living with HIV in a less developed country.

Nyashanu, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-9231-0393, Lusota, D.A., Muddu, M. and Mbalinda, S.N., 2022. Effect of COVID 19 on older adults 50 years and above living with HIV in a less developed country. African Journal of AIDS Research, 21 (2), pp. 207-212. ISSN 1608-5906

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Introduction: Globally, control measures have been communicated to reverse the COVID 19 pandemic. In Uganda, as soon as the first case of COVID-19 was identified, strict lockdown measures were enforced, including a ban on all public and private transport, night curfew, closure of schools, and suspension of religious and social gatherings and closure of non-essential shops and markets. These measures affected access to health services, which could have been worse for older people living with HIV (PLHIV). In this study, we explored how COVID 19 affected the health and social life of older PLHIV.

Methods: We conducted a qualitative study in HIV clinics of two hospitals in Uganda. We completed 40 in-depth interviews with adults above 50 years who had lived with HIV for more than ten years. The interviews explored the effect of COVID 19 on their health and social life during the lockdown. We analysed data thematically.

Results: The overarching themes regarding the effects of COVID-19 on older adult PLHIV were fear and anxiety during the lockdown, lack of access to health care leading to missing HIV clinic appointments, missing to take their ART medicines, financial burden, loss of loved ones, and effect on children’s education. Some patients overcame this by sending a motorcycle to the health facilities with their identifying documents to get the medicines refilled. Some healthcare providers took the ART medicines to the patient’s home.

Conclusion: Covid 19 lockdown negatively affected the health and social well-being of older PLHIV. This calls for strategies to improve HIV care and treatment access during the lockdown to sustain the HIV program gains in this vulnerable population.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: African Journal of AIDS Research
Creators: Nyashanu, M., Lusota, D.A., Muddu, M. and Mbalinda, S.N.
Publisher: National Inquiry Services Centre
Date: 2022
Volume: 21
Number: 2
ISSN: 1608-5906
Rights: © 2022 The Author(s). Co-published by NISC Pty (Ltd) and Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Open Access article distributed in terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License [CC BY 4.0] (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0).
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 05 Sep 2022 09:49
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2022 09:49
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/46952

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