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Open AccessArticle

Why I Can’t, Won’t or Don’t Test for HIV: Insights from Australian Migrants Born in Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia

1
Collaboration for Evidence, Research and Impact in Public Health, School of Public Health, Curtin University, Kent Street, Bentley, WA 6102, Australia
2
Communicable Disease Control Branch, Public Health and Clinical Systems, Department for Health and Wellbeing, Government of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
3
PEACE Multicultural Services, Relationships Australia South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
4
The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
5
Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University, Bundoora, VIC 3086, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(6), 1034; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16061034
Received: 20 February 2019 / Revised: 10 March 2019 / Accepted: 15 March 2019 / Published: 21 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Health and Wellbeing of Migrant Populations)
People born in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia are overrepresented in HIV notifications in Australia. Just under half of all notifications among people from sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia are diagnosed late. Increased HIV testing among these communities is necessary to ensure early diagnosis, better care and reduce likelihood of HIV onward transmission. Recently, Australia has made new HIV testing methods available: rapid HIV testing and self-testing kits. We conducted 11 focus groups with 77 participants with people from sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia in four jurisdictions in Australia. Focus groups discussed barriers to HIV testing and the acceptability of new testing methods. Barriers to HIV testing included: cost and eligibility of health services, low visibility of HIV in Australia, HIV-related stigma, and missed opportunities by general practitioners (GPs) for early diagnosis of HIV and linkage into care. Participants had low levels of knowledge on where to test for HIV and the different methods available. Diverse opportunities for testing were considered important. Interventions to increase HIV testing rates among sub-Saharan African, Southeast Asia and Northeast Asian migrants in Australia need to be multi-strategic and aimed at individual, community and policy levels. New methods of HIV testing, including rapid HIV testing and self-testing, present an opportunity to engage with migrants outside of traditional health care settings. View Full-Text
Keywords: migrants; sexual health; HIV; HIV testing migrants; sexual health; HIV; HIV testing
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Gray, C.; Lobo, R.; Narciso, L.; Oudih, E.; Gunaratnam, P.; Thorpe, R.; Crawford, G. Why I Can’t, Won’t or Don’t Test for HIV: Insights from Australian Migrants Born in Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1034.

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