Sex Differences in the Association between Stress, Loneliness, and COVID-19 Burden among People with HIV in the United States

Deborah L. Jones, Violeta J. Rodriguez, Ana S. Salazar, Emily Montgomerie, Patricia D. Raccamarich, Claudia Uribe Starita, Irma T. Barreto Ojeda, Laura Beauchamps, Andres Vazquez, Thais Martinez, Maria L. Alcaide

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Little is known about the psychological implications of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on people with HIV. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of COVID-19 among men and women with HIV in Miami, Florida. We hypothesized that the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic will be higher for women, and psychological factors will increase COVID-19 burden among them. People with (n = 231) and without HIV (n = 42) residing in Miami, Florida completed a survey assessing psychological outcomes such as loneliness, depression, and stress, as well as the burden of COVID-19, on their daily lives. t-Tests and chi-square analyses were used to assess sex differences in study variables. Logistic regression was used to compare the interaction effects predicting stress and loneliness by COVID-19 burden and sex. A total of 273 completed the survey; the outcomes of the study, loneliness, and stress did not differ by HIV status (p = .458 and p = .922). Overall, men and women reported similar prevalence of COVID-19 burden. However, a greater proportion of women reported losing childcare than men (18% vs. 9%, p = .029, respectively), as well as losing mental health care (15% vs. 7%, p = .049, respectively). There was a significant interaction between COVID-19 burden and sex for loneliness and stress such that the association between COVID-19 burden and loneliness was greater for women (p < .001) than for men (p = .353) and the association between COVID-19 burden and stress was greater for women (p = .013) than men (p = .628). Both men and women with HIV are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but women may experience higher levels of stress and loneliness than men. Sex differences may require tailored interventions to more effectively mitigate the impact of the pandemic on mental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number289
Pages (from-to)314-321
Number of pages8
JournalAIDS research and human retroviruses
Volume37
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 burden
  • HIV
  • mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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