Fewer taking HIV preventive medicine in pandemic: new study

Written by:

Yen Feng

Yen Feng

Yen is a freelance editor and yoga instructor at @yen.yoga on Instagram/TikTok and @yenyogasg on Telegram.


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More than 1 in three people who are at-risk for HIV either reduced their use of HIV preventive medicine or stopped completely.

This is according to a new survey by Kantar Health, a research group, aimed to assess the impact of Covid-19 on access to HIV care. The survey also noted that roughly 80% of HIV workers reported a decline in preventive prescriptions for persons at-risk for contracting the virus.

Another startling number: About 46% of the at-risk population reported a decrease in how often they were tested for HIV during the pandemic.

The main reasons for reduced testing were concerns of getting infected with Covid-19 (62%) and travel restrictions imposed during the pandemic (46%).

The survey was conducted online from October to November 2020 in 10 countries and territories in the Asia-Pacific region, comprising Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. A total of 1,265 respondents took part.

In the Asia-Pacific region, there are about 5.8 million people living with HIV, according to latest 2019 figures from UNAIDS, a United Nations agency.

Read our stories about the impact of Covid-19 on HIV below:

Will Covid-19 vaccines increase the risk of HIV?

Global toll of HIV expected to rise due to Covid-19

What you need to know about Covid-19 and PrEP

Is Covid-19 more dangerous to HIV+ people?

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