For this report we conducted a comprehensive analysis of peer-reviewed scientific literature, combined with qualitative interviews of people living with HIV (PLWH), affected communities, and community-based organizations (CBOs) that serve these populations. We conducted 26 individual interviews (20 clients, 6 CBO staff) moderated by Ipsos, a leading market research company. The interviews with clients explored how the COVID-19 pandemic affected their access to HIV- related services, psychosocial services, and other support systems. The interviews with CBOs investigated how the needs of clients and organizations shifted during the pandemic, what impact COVID-19 had on services and program delivery, and explored areas of unmet need required to better support their client base. Each interview was conducted virtually and lasted about an hour. It is important to note that these interviews represent a qualitative perspective on the impact of COVID-19 on HIV testing, prevention, and treatment. The sample of respondents was designed to capture a range of individuals from the demographics most affected by HIV. The qualitative insights are intended to complement the literature review and are directional in nature.
It was a privilege to partner with GLAAD on this important research endeavor as the lead qualitative researcher for the Ipsos team. Our highly skilled group of qualitative researchers approached this collaboration with great interest, empathy and professionalism. The Ipsos team agreed from the outset that this was an incredibly personal topic and would be an appropriate application of our combined experience working in healthcare market research, conducting fieldwork among LGBTQ community members and international research experience on the impact of HIV. The qualitative component of this research engagement helps bring to life the voice of PLWH and affected communities to help us better understand the intersections of the COVID-19 pandemic with the HIV epidemic.