1209312_Hammoud,M_2023.pdf (1.07 MB)
COVID-19 Testing in a Weekly Cohort Study of Gay and Bisexual Men: The Impact of Health-Seeking Behaviors and Social Connection
journal contributionposted on 2023-08-30, 02:13 authored by MA Hammoud, N Wells, M Holt, B Bavinton, F Jin, L Maher, S Philpot, B Haire, L Degenhardt, Adam BourneAdam Bourne, P Saxton, P Keen, D Storer, Garrett PrestageGarrett Prestage
Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBM) have developed community norms for regular HIV/STI testing. We investigated factors associated with self-reported COVID-19 testing in response to reported COVID-19 cases and public health restrictions. Participants responded to weekly cohort surveys between 10th May 2021 and 27th September 2021. We used the Andersen-Gill extensions to the Cox proportional hazards model for multivariable survival data to predict factors influencing COVID-19 testing. Mean age of the 942 study participants was 45.6 years (SD: 13.9). In multivariable analysis, GBM were more likely to report testing during periods of high COVID-19 caseload in their state of residence; if they were younger; university educated; close contact of someone with COVID-19; or reported coping with COVID-19 poorly. COVID-19 testing was higher among men who: were more socially engaged with other GBM; had a higher proportion of friends willing to vaccinate against COVID-19; and were willing to contact sexual partners for contact tracing. Social connection with other gay men was associated with COVID-19 testing, similar to what has been observed throughout the HIV epidemic, making community networks a potential focus for the promotion of COVID-19 safe practices.