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

Janet Michel, Raphael Stuber, Martin Müller, Annette Mettler, Hansjakob Furrer, Rashida A Ferrand, Aristomenis K Exadaktylos, Wolf E Hautz, Thomas C Sauter
2021 Journal of global health reports  
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
more » ... 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.
doi:10.29392/001c.21403 fatcat:525n3xw3pjabncoflyww4a7ufe