grid_view HIV

Ritu Parchure, Trupti Darak, Purva More, Vijaya Jori, Shrinivas Darak, Lokesh Gabane, Pramod Deoraj, Neha Kapoor, Vinita Verma, Bhawani Singh, Chinmoyee Das, Shobini Rajan & Vinay Kulkarni, Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on HIV Testing Uptake Among Key Populations Enrolled in Targeted Intervention Program in Maharashtra, India

DOI: 10.1007/s10461-023-04011-5


The COVID-19 pandemic posed unprecedented challenges to HIV services globally. We evaluated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the uptake of HIV testing in the Targeted Intervention (TI) program in Maharashtra—a high HIV burden state in India. Annual HIV testing was sustained during the pandemic year (2020–2021), at levels similar to the pre-pandemic year (2019–2020), among Female Sex Workers (FSW), Men having Sex with Men (MSM), Transgender (TG), and Truckers; but not among Migrants and Intravenous Drug Users (IDU). There was an acute decline during the lockdown across all typologies. Sharp recovery was seen among FSW, MSM, and TG during the early months of the un-lockdown. The community-based screening (CBS) approach primarily contributed to this recovery. Among migrants and truckers, recovery was delayed. There was an overall reduction of 58% in annual HIV-positive registrations. The community-based networks, participatory structures, and processes of HIV programs played an essential role in reaching the community during the pandemic.