Review: Social and behavioral health responses to COVID-19: Lessons learned from four decades of an HIV pandemic

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Review: Social and behavioral health responses to COVID-19: Lessons learned from four decades of an HIV pandemic

Review: Social and behavioral health responses to COVID-19: Lessons learned from four decades of an HIV pandemic

This article uses lessons learned from the HIV pandemic to offer advice on social and behavioral approaches to address COVID-19 transmission.

Based on 40 years of prevention and treatment research of the HIV epidemic, researchers offer perspectives on multiple levels of intervention to understand and elaborate on the social and behavioral lessons learned relevant to COVID-19. The socio-ecological model of health provides the framework for addressing intrapersonal, interpersonal, community, and social factors. Information, motivation, and behavioral skills are essential for initiating individual behavior change but are likely insufficient for sustained change and therefore will need “booster” sessions to support change. The stigmatization of COVID-19 has already begun, and individuals should be wary of language that creates an in-group/out-group mentality. Multi-level community interventions yield more robust and sustainable outcomes because COVID-19 is not an isolated, unidimensional disease so other social concerns must be addressed. Finally, community mobilization involving multiple societal sectors need to appeal to the broader community for a national-level response. Given that there was an overall lack of public health preparedness for the current pandemic, social and behavioral scientists wanting to contain and mitigate COVID-19 will be well-served by the lessons learned in HIV prevention and treatment research.

|2020-05-06T09:19:29-04:00May 6th, 2020|COVID-19 Literature|0 Comments

About the Author: Maria Brann

Maria Brann
Dr. Maria Brann, PhD, MPH, is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI and affiliate faculty with the Injury Control Research Center at West Virginia University. She explores the integration of health, interpersonal, and gender communication. Her translational focus and mixed methods approach are woven throughout her health vulnerabilities research, which advocates for more effective communication to improve people’s health and safety. Her primary research interests focus on the study of women’s and ethical issues in health communication contexts and promotion of healthy lifestyle behaviors to improve personal and public health and safety. She researches communication at both the micro and macro levels and studies how communication influences relationships among individuals and with the social world.

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