Top 5 Takeaways

  1. HIV Testing and PrEP Prescriptions Decreased Then Rebounded: In 2020, a decline in HIV testing and preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) prescriptions was observed in the first half of the year, followed by a rebound.
  2. Stable HIV Care and Treatment: Despite initial disruptions, the number of persons linked to HIV care, prescribed antiretroviral therapy (ART), and achieving viral load suppression remained stable.
  3. Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic: The COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the closure of health care venues and loss of health insurance, significantly impacted HIV services.
  4. Innovative Service Delivery Models Needed: The pandemic highlighted the need for alternative HIV service delivery models, including telehealth and nonclinical settings.
  5. Resilience in HIV Prevention and Care System: Despite early disruptions, the system showed resilience with a return to pre-pandemic trends in PrEP prescriptions and maintenance of ART services.

Original Article Author and Citation

Corresponding Author

Karen W. Hoover,

Suggested Citation

Hoover KW, Zhu W, Gant ZC, et al. HIV Services and Outcomes During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, 2019–2021. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022;71:1505–1510. DOI:


The article discusses the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on HIV services in the United States, focusing on the changes in HIV testing, PrEP prescriptions, and treatment outcomes from 2019 to 2021. It highlights the initial decrease in HIV testing and PrEP prescriptions following the declaration of the COVID-19 public health emergency and the subsequent rebound.


Data from four sources – LabCorp, Quest Diagnostics, IQVIA, and the National HIV Surveillance System (NHSS) – were analyzed to assess changes in HIV service use and outcomes. This included analyzing laboratory data for HIV tests and viral load tests, and retail pharmacy data for ART and PrEP prescriptions.


The discussion emphasizes the resilience of the HIV prevention and care service system during the COVID-19 pandemic. It notes that despite initial setbacks, HIV testing and PrEP prescriptions largely returned to pre-pandemic trends, and ART services remained stable. The importance of innovative service delivery models, including telehealth and nonclinical settings, is highlighted.


The article concludes that the HIV prevention and care service system in the U.S. demonstrated resilience during the pandemic. The maintenance of ART services and the eventual rebound in HIV testing and PrEP prescriptions are noted as key indicators of this resilience. The need for robust prevention services and alternative delivery models during public health emergencies is emphasized.


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