The occurrence of acute infectious diseases or severe natural disasters has a negative impact on the medical system (1). A survey of 105 countries by the World Health Organization (WHO) from March to June 2020 found that health services were disrupted in 90% of countries due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, with low- and middle-income countries being the most affected. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) treatment continuity and healthcare service delivery were also affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (2–3).
In public health emergencies where social distancing and isolation regulations prevent people living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLHIV) from going to their regular clinics and hospitals for treatment, they may not receive timely medical services, leading to an increased risk of disruption of antiretroviral therapy (ART) (4-6). China has taken rigorous measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak since early 2020. Lockdowns in cities have resulted in PLHIV who had travelled away from their hometowns being unable to return home and access HIV services from their usual healthcare providers (7).
In China, more than 95% of PLHIV have taken free medication provided by government programs from clinics they have chosen themselves. The emergency measures have been summarized to maintain essential health services and continuous ART during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope to share the experience of minimizing the antiretroviral supply risk and improve service in the future.