Effects of COVID-19 measures on access to HIV/STI testing and condoms among adults in Sweden: a cross-sectional online survey.

Hentges M, Kågesten AE, Brandén G, Kosidou K, Michielsen K, Ekström AM, Larsson EC

Scand J Public Health - (-) 14034948231217020 [2024-01-03; online 2024-01-03]

To investigate the self-reported impact of COVID-19 measures on access to testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and condoms and factors associated with reduced access among adults in Sweden. Cross-sectional data were collected in late 2020 through a web panel with adults (18-49 years) in Sweden as part of the International Sexual Health And REproductive health survey (I-SHARE) (N=1307). The primary outcome was self-reported access to HIV/STI testing and condoms during COVID-19 measures. Logistic regression was used to assess adjusted odds ratios of experiencing reduced access to HIV/STI testing and condoms in relation to sociodemographic characteristics, changes in sexual behaviours and COVID-19-related factors. Of the 1138 sexually active respondents, 17% wanted an HIV/STI test, and of those over half (57%) reported reduced access during the COVID-19 measures in 2020. Compared with cis-women, transgender or non-binary respondents were more likely to experience lower access to testing. Among those who usually used condoms (n=568), 23% reported hampered condom access due to COVID-19 restrictions. Reduced condom access was associated with identifying as non-cis gender and a cis-man compared with cis-woman, non-heterosexual orientation, being foreign-born and financially worried. Findings indicate that access to HIV/STI testing and condoms among sexually active adults of reproductive age in Sweden was disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 with varied impact depending on sexual orientation, gender identity or socioeconomic situation. This signals the importance of ensuring equitable access to sexual and reproductive health services and commodities in future crises response.

Category: Health

Type: Journal article

PubMed 38166520

DOI 10.1177/14034948231217020

Crossref 10.1177/14034948231217020

Publications 9.5.0