Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on early infant diagnosis of HIV in Cape Town, South Africa

Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine

Field Value
Title Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on early infant diagnosis of HIV in Cape Town, South Africa
Creator van Vollenhoven, Hendrike Kalk, Emma Kroon, Stuart M. Maseko, Tafadzwa Phelanyane, Florence Euvrard, Jonathan Fourie, Lezanne le Roux, Nicolene Nongena, Phumza
Subject Paediatrics; vertical transmission prevention; VTP; HIV; COVID-19; early infant diagnosis; vertical transmission; prevention of mother-to-child transmission; PMTCT.
Description Background: In South Africa, infants who are HIV-exposed are tested for HIV at birth and 10 weeks of age. The COVID-19 pandemic lockdown restrictions resulted in reduced access to healthcare services and uncertain impact on early infant HIV testing.Objectives: To describe the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown restrictions on early infant HIV testing and diagnosis in Cape Town, South Africa.Method: This retrospective cohort study compares HIV-exposed infants born during the first COVID-19 pandemic lockdown (2020) to those born in the same period the year before (2019). Laboratory and other data were abstracted from the Provincial Health Data Centre.Results: A total of 2888 infants were included: 1474 born in 2020 and 1413 in 2019. Compared to 2019, there was an increase in the 10-week HIV polymerase chain reaction (PCR) uptake in 2020 (71% vs. 60%, P 0.001). There was also an increase in the proportion of infants who demised without 10-week testing or were lost to follow-up in 2020 compared to 2019 (8% vs. 5%, P = 0.017). Differences detected in birth HIV PCR positivity rates between the two groups (1.1% vs. 0.5%, P = 0.17) did not reach statistical significance; however, a significant increase in vertical transmission of HIV by 10 weeks old was found in the 2020 cohort (1.2% vs. 0.5%. P = 0.046).Conclusion: Vertical transmission of HIV at 10 weeks increased in the Cape Town Metropolitan during the initial COVID-19 lockdown. There was also an increase in the proportion of deaths without testing by 10 weeks in the 2020 group.
Publisher AOSIS
Contributor University of Cape Town Department of Paediatrics and Child Health Dr Max Kroon
Date 2024-03-18
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — Retrospective cohort
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/sajhivmed.v25i1.1542
Source Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine; Vol 25, No 1 (2024); 8 pages 2078-6751 1608-9693
Language eng
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https://sajhivmed.org.za/index.php/hivmed/article/view/1542/3213 https://sajhivmed.org.za/index.php/hivmed/article/view/1542/3214 https://sajhivmed.org.za/index.php/hivmed/article/view/1542/3215 https://sajhivmed.org.za/index.php/hivmed/article/view/1542/3216
Coverage South Africa Infancy Infants
Rights Copyright (c) 2024 Hendrike van Vollenhoven, Emma Kalk, Stuart M. Kroon, Tafadzwa Maseko, Florence Phelanyane, Jonathan Euvrard, Lezanne Fourie, Nicolene le Roux, Phumza Nongena https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0