COVID-19 and HIV testing: different viruses but similar prejudices and psychosocial impacts

Michel, Janet; Stuber, Raphael; Müller, Martin; Mettler, Annette; Furrer, Hansjakob; Ferrand, Rashida A; Exadaktylos, Aristomenis K; Hautz, Wolf E; Sauter, Thomas C (2021). COVID-19 and HIV testing: different viruses but similar prejudices and psychosocial impacts (In Press). Journal of Global Health Reports International Society of Global Health (ISoGH) 10.29392/001c.21403

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Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) high infectivity and perceived substantial fatality rates are causing negative psychosocial effects, including the increased psychiatric and economic burden. Research has demonstrated that a severe diagnosis triggers various responses in a person, including depression, sense of hopelessness, shame, and self-destructive behaviours. This manuscript explores the reasons why people did not follow the recommendations to be tested for SARS-CoV-2.
Methods: A mixed study design, sequential explanatory study was carried out from March-Dec 2020, based on an online COVID-19 symptom checker. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected. Video interviews were held with Key Informants (n=19), who were selected purposefully from the online tool users’ group that consented to the study.
Results: Among 176 users of the online triage tool, 150 (85%) followed the recommendations and 26 (15%) did not. The reasons people did not test for SARS-CoV-2 emerged as fivefold: i) improved symptoms, ii) the cost of test, iii) fear of a painful test procedure, iv) test kit shortages, and v) fear of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result.
Conclusions: Of the reasons why people did not test, fear of a positive SARS-CoV-2 result remains unaddressed in our view. Integrating pre- and post-test counselling into SARS-CoV-2 testing strategies, similarly as done for HIV-testing, seems warranted to address this problem.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine and Anaesthesiology (DINA) > University Emergency Center
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Clinic of Infectiology

UniBE Contributor:

Michel, Janet; Müller, Martin; Mettler, Annette; Furrer, Hansjakob; Exadaktylos, Aristomenis; Hautz, Wolf and Sauter, Thomas Christian

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

2399-1623

Publisher:

International Society of Global Health (ISoGH)

Language:

English

Submitter:

Annelies Luginbühl

Date Deposited:

12 May 2021 15:29

Last Modified:

12 May 2021 15:29

Publisher DOI:

10.29392/001c.21403

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/155760

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/155760

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