Prevalence of COVID-19-Related Social Disruptions and Effects on Psychosocial Health in a Mixed-Serostatus Cohort of Men and Women

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2021 Dec 15;88(5):426-438. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000002799.


Objectives: This study describes prevention behavior and psychosocial health among people living with HIV (PLHIV) and HIV-negative people during the early wave of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the United States. We assessed differences by HIV status and associations between social disruption and psychosocial health.

Design: A cross-sectional telephone/videoconference administered survey of 3411 PLHIV and HIV-negative participants in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study/WIHS Combined Cohort Study (MWCCS).

Methods: An instrument combining new and validated measures was developed to assess COVID-19 prevention efforts, social disruptions (loss of employment, childcare, health insurance, and financial supports), experiences of abuse, and psychosocial health. Interviews were performed between April and June 2020. Associations between social disruptions and psychosocial health were explored using multivariable logistic regression, adjusting for sociodemographics and HIV status.

Results: Almost all (97.4%) participants reported COVID-19 prevention behavior; 40.1% participants reported social disruptions, and 34.3% reported health care appointment disruption. Men living with HIV were more likely than HIV-negative men to experience social disruptions (40.6% vs. 32.9%; P < 0.01), whereas HIV-negative women were more likely than women with HIV to experience social disruptions (51.1% vs. 39.8%, P < 0.001). Participants who experienced ≥2 social disruptions had significantly higher odds of depression symptoms [aOR = 1.32; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.12 to 1.56], anxiety (aOR = 1.63; 95% CI: 1.17 to 2.27), and social support dissatisfaction (aOR = 1.81; 95% CI: 1.26 to 2.60).

Conclusions: This study builds on emerging literature demonstrating the psychosocial health impact related to the COVID-19 pandemic by providing context specific to PLHIV. The ongoing pandemic requires structural and social interventions to decrease social disruption and address psychosocial health needs among the most vulnerable populations.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • COVID-19 / psychology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Seronegativity*
  • HIV Seropositivity / epidemiology*
  • HIV Seropositivity / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Prevalence
  • United States / epidemiology

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19 stress syndrome