HIV knowledge and use of health services among people from South-East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa living in Western Australia
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© 2018 Australian Health Promotion Association. Background: HIV notifications among people born in sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia have increased in Australia in the last decade. People born in these regions have the highest rates of HIV diagnosis by region of birth and are overrepresented in late or advanced presentation of HIV infection. Methods: This study developed and tested a questionnaire for reliability through test-retest. A cross-sectional survey using intercept and online recruitment of HIV knowledge and use of health services was then undertaken among people born in sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia, who had arrived in Australia less than 10 years ago and were living in Western Australia (n = 209). Results were reported on by gender and length of time in Australia. Results: Participants had a reasonable knowledge of HIV transmission, but held a number of incorrect beliefs. Two-thirds (65%) of participants reported a barrier to accessing health services in Australia. Just over a third (34%) of participants had ever tested for HIV, despite indicating that they believed HIV testing was important. Conclusions: This project indicates a very low rate of HIV testing among this priority population. Further action is required to improve early diagnosis of HIV and reduce onward transmission of HIV infection within these communities. So what?: We need targeted interventions that extend beyond knowledge to increase HIV testing rates among this population.
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