Keeping HIV in Check

August 10, 2020

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Anchor lead: What are the challenges of HIV care during the Covid pandemic? Elizabeth Tracey reports

HIV and TB are poised to resurge following Covid-19, public health experts warn in a recent Lancet publication. Joseph Cofrancesco, an HIV expert at Johns Hopkins, says challenges facing those with HIV here in the US underscore conditions that make resurgence more likely.

Cofrancesco: The day to day operations for patients are tougher. Virtual visits, though very good, are not quite the same as live visits, and many of the patients in my own practice and certainly in the United States simply don’t have the technology, or frankly the finances to have the technology, to do those kinds of visits. I’ve had at least one or two patients tell me they’ve had an interruption in their meds for a few days, because the pharmacy couldn’t get it.  :28

Cofrancesco says that if such barriers are present in a high resource setting like the US even more profound challenges face those in low and middle income countries. He hopes that a Covid vaccine will soon be available so other important health issues also get attention. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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