COVID-19 Conspiracy Beliefs are not Barriers to HIV Status Neutral Care Among Black Cisgender Sexual Minority Men and Black Transgender Women at the Initial Peak of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Chicago, USA

Yen Tyng Chen, Dustin T. Duncan, Natascha Del Vecchio, Liadh Timmins, Jade Pagkas-Bather, Justin Knox, Shaina Lacap, Hillary Hanson, John A. Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We examined associations between COVID-19 conspiracy beliefs and HIV status neutral care engagement among Black cisgender sexual minority men (BCSMM) and Black transgender women (BTW). Throughout April–July 2020, a total of 226 (222 in the current analysis: 196 BCSMM, 20 BTW, and 6 other) participants in Chicago’s Neighborhoods and Networks (N2) cohort study completed virtual assessments. Participants reported their HIV status, changes in the frequency of PrEP/ART use, and COVID-19 conspiracy beliefs. Three-quarters of the sample believed at least one conspiracy theory that COVID-19 was either government-created or lab-created accidentally or purposefully. Believing one or more COVID-19 conspiracy theories was significantly associated with better PrEP or ART engagement (using PrEP more frequently or continuously using PrEP/Missing ART less or continuously using ART) (aPR = 0.75 [95% CI 0.56–0.99], p < 0.05). Believing COVID-19 came about naturally was strongly associated with worse PrEP engagement (i.e., use PrEP less or not on PrEP) or worse ART engagement (i.e., missed ART more or not on ART) (aPR = 1.56 [95% CI 1.23, 1.98], p < 0.001). Findings suggested substantial COVID-19 conspiracies among BCSMM and BTW, and this was associated with HIV care engagement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAIDS and Behavior
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • ART
  • Black sexual minority men
  • Black transgender women
  • Conspiracy beliefs
  • COVID-19
  • PrEP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'COVID-19 Conspiracy Beliefs are not Barriers to HIV Status Neutral Care Among Black Cisgender Sexual Minority Men and Black Transgender Women at the Initial Peak of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Chicago, USA'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this