The International Sexual Health and REproductive Health during COVID-19 (I-SHARE) Study: A Multicountry Analysis of Adults from 30 Countries Prior to and during the Initial Coronavirus Disease 2019 Wave

Jennifer Toller Erausquin, Rayner K.J. Tan, Maximiliane Uhlich, Gunta Lazdane, International Sexual Health And REproductive Health during COVID-19 Research Consortium, Dace Rezeberga (Member of the Working Group)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: There is limited evidence to date about changes to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) during the initial wave of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). To address this gap, our team organized a multicountry, cross-sectional online survey as part of a global consortium. Methods: Consortium research teams conducted online surveys in 30 countries. Sampling methods included convenience, online panels, and population-representative. Primary outcomes included sexual behaviors, partner violence, and SRH service use, and we compared 3 months prior to and during policy measures to mitigate COVID-19. We conducted meta-analyses for primary outcomes and graded the certainty of the evidence. Results: Among 4546 respondents with casual partners, condom use stayed the same for 3374 (74.4%), and 640 (14.1%) reported a decline. Fewer respondents reported physical or sexual partner violence during COVID-19 measures (1063 of 15 144, 7.0%) compared to before COVID-19 measures (1469 of 15 887, 9.3%). COVID-19 measures impeded access to condoms (933 of 10, 8.7%), contraceptives (610 of 8175, 7.5%), and human immunodeficiency virus/sexually transmitted infection (HIV/STI) testing (750 of 1965, 30.7%). Pooled estimates from meta-analysis indicate that during COVID-19 measures, 32.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 23.9%-42.1%) of people needing HIV/STI testing had hindered access, 4.4% (95% CI, 3.4%-5.4%) experienced partner violence, and 5.8% (95% CI, 5.4%-8.2%) decreased casual partner condom use (moderate certainty of evidence for each outcome). Meta-analysis findings were robust in sensitivity analyses that examined country income level, sample size, and sampling strategy. Conclusions: Open science methods are feasible to organize research studies as part of emergency responses. The initial COVID-19 wave impacted SRH behaviors and access to services across diverse global settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E991-E999
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Volume75
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022

Keywords*

  • condom use
  • HIV
  • sexual behavior
  • sexual violence
  • sexually transmitted infections

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine
  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database

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