PerspectiveViewpoint: COVID-19

COVID-19 affects HIV and tuberculosis care

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Science  24 Jul 2020:
Vol. 369, Issue 6502, pp. 366-368
DOI: 10.1126/science.abd1072


Shortly after instituting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mitigation measures, such as banning air travel and closing schools, the South African government implemented a national lockdown on 27 March 2020 when there were 402 cases and the number of cases was doubling every 2 days (1). This drastic step, which set out to curb viral transmission by restricting the movement of people and their interactions, has had several unintended consequences for the provision of health care services for other prevalent conditions, in particular the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis (TB) and HIV. Key resources that had been extensively built up over decades for the control of HIV and TB are now being redirected to control COVID-19 in various countries in Africa, particularly South Africa. These include diagnostic platforms, community outreach programs, medical care access, and research infrastructure. However, the COVID-19 response also provides potential opportunities to enhance HIV and TB control.

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