HumanInsight Healthcare outcomes in patients with HIV infection at a tertiary hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic
Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin (Engl Ed). 2023 Mar;41(3):149-154. doi: 10.1016/j.eimce.2021.07.011.
BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the care of patients with other diseases. Difficulty in access to healthcare during these months has been especially relevant for persons with HIV infection (PWH). This study therefore sought to ascertain the clinical outcomes and effectiveness of the measures implemented among PWH in a region with one of the highest incidence rates in Europe.
METHODS: Retrospective, observational, pre-post intervention study to compare the outcomes of PWH attended at a high-complexity healthcare hospital from March to October 2020 and during the same months across the period 2016-2019. The intervention consisted of home drug deliveries and preferential use of non face-to-face consultations. The effectiveness of the measures implemented was determined by reference to the number of emergency visits, hospitalisations, mortality rate, and percentage of PWH with viral load >50copies, before and after the two pandemic waves.
RESULTS: A total of 2760 PWH were attended from January 2016 to October 2020. During the pandemic, there was a monthly mean of 106.87 telephone consultations and 2075 home deliveries of medical drugs dispensed to ambulatory patients. No statistically significant differences were found between the rate of admission of patients with COVID-HIV co-infection and that of the remaining patients (1172.76 admissions/100,000 population vs. 1424.29, p=0.401) or in mortality (11.54% vs. 12.96%, p=0.939). The percentage of PWH with viral load >50copies was similar before and after the pandemic (1.20% pre-pandemic vs. 0.51% in 2020, p=0.078).
CONCLUSION: Our results show that the strategies implemented during the first 8 months of the pandemic prevented any deterioration in the control and follow-up parameters routinely used on PWH. Furthermore, they contribute to the debate about how telemedicine and telepharmacy can fit into future healthcare models.
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