Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Coping and Behavioral Health Among Young Adults Affected by HIV (EPOCH-HIV)

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically disrupted everyday life for many young people across the globe. For Black and Latinx young adults living with HIV and for those who were exposed to HIV, COVID-19 may be particularly devastating given disruptions in health care as well as the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 cases, deaths, and social and economic impacts on communities of color. For these young adults, the overlapping pandemics of HIV and COVID-19 may exacerbate pre-existing or lead to new behavioral and physical health problems and affect access to and utilization of behavioral health and physical health services. Aim 1 of this study was already completed using secondary data from a longitudinal cohort with 19 years of psychiatric and HIV data. For study aim 2, the research team will conduct qualitative interviews with youth affected by HIV. Through these interviews we will explore youth experiences accessing care during the COVID pandemic and in the context of systemic and structural racism. Findings from this study will inform the tailoring of clinical care and behavioral interventions for these populations and will improve preparedness for future pandemics.

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