Reduction in initiations of HIV treatment in South Africa during the COVID pandemic

By Mariet Benade  Dr. Lawrence Long  Professor Sydney Rosen  Dr Gesine Meyer-Rath  Jeanne‑Marie Tucker  Dr. Jacqui Miot  |  | 


In response to the global pandemic of COVID-19, countries around the world began imposing stay-at-home orders, restrictions on transport, and closures of businesses in early 2020. South Africa implemented a strict lockdown in March 2020 before its first COVID-19 wave started, gradually lifted restrictions between May and September 2020, and then re-imposed restrictions in December 2020 in response to its second wave. There is concern that COVID-19-related morbidity and mortality, fear of transmission, and government responses may have led to a reduction in antiretroviral treatment (ART) initiations for HIV-infected individuals in countries like South Africa.

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BMC Health Services Research