HIV-Related Knowledge and Practices among Asian and African Migrants Living in Australia: Results from a Cross-Sectional Survey and Qualitative Study
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Australian HIV notification rates are higher for people born in Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa compared to Australian-born people. The Migrant Blood-Borne Virus and Sexual Health Survey represents the first attempt to build the national evidence base regarding HIV knowledge, risk behaviors and testing among migrants in Australia. To inform survey development, preliminary qualitative research was conducted with a convenience sample of n = 23 migrants. A survey was developed with reference to the qualitative data and existing survey instruments. Non-probability sampling of adults born in Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa was undertaken (n = 1489), and descriptive and bivariate analyses of data were conducted. Knowledge of pre-exposure prophylaxis was low (15.59%), and condom use at last sexual encounter was reported by 56.63% of respondents engaging in casual sex, and 51.80% of respondents reported multiple sexual partners. Less than one-third (31.33%) of respondents reported testing for any sexually transmitted infection or blood-borne virus in the previous two years and, of these, less than half (45.95%) tested for HIV. Confusion surrounding HIV testing practices was reported. These findings identify policy interventions and service improvements critically needed to reduce widening disparities regarding HIV in Australia.
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