Welcome to CoPAHM's quarterly e-News! This is your source for the latest updates regarding HIV and mobility issues. If you have something you would like to share via CoPAHM please let us know. For broader news relating to sexual health, please view the SiREN e-News or subscribe by emailing siren@curtin.edu.au.

Please get in touch at copahm@curtin.edu.au if you need assistance accessing the research. 

The CoPAHM team would like to wish you a safe and enjoyable festive season. CoPAHM will be closed from the 21st December to the 7th of January. We look forward to working with you in 2019. 

CoPAHM UPDATES

NOW AVAILABLE: Priority actions for HIV & Mobility document. The HIV and Mobility in Australia: Priority Actions report builds upon the HIV and Mobility: Road Map for Action and identifies strategies that specifically address migrants and mobile populations. Read the final version here. You can get involved online via Twitter using #HIVMobile or following @CoPAHM.

See the media release here. Thank you to everyone who has been involved. 

Reducing health disparities for culturally and linguistically diverse peoples. This project aims to develop a greater intercultural understanding of migrants from non-English speaking backgrounds and the factors that predict poor health outcomes related to blood-borne viruses and other sexually transmitted infections. Mixed methods will be used to engage a diversity of migrants and explore knowledge gaps including migrants’ understanding of sexual health and disease transmission, risk behaviours, and the sociocultural and structural factors influencing help-seeking behaviours.

We are pleased to announce a Project Coordinator and a PhD student have been appointed for the project, and will commence in early 2019. 

Prevention of HIV and other sexually transmissible infections in expatriates and traveler networks: Qualitative study of peer interaction in an online forum. This study explored the use of an online forum by Australian expatriates and travelers living or working in Thailand. It found that participation in the online forum formed, influenced, and reinforced knowledge, attitudes, interaction, and identity. Such forums can be used by policy makers and health-promoting organizations to provide support and information to hard-to-reach mobile populations who may be at risk of HIV or other sexually transmissible infections (STIs). Read here

NEWS

Minister for Health announces approval of HIV self-testing, the listing of a new treatment on the PBS, and the 8th national strategy for HIV. Culturally and linguistically diverse people from high HIV prevalence countries, people who travel to high HIV prevalence countries, and their partners, are once again included in Australia's national strategy. Read the Government's media release here

HIV and Mobility Forum Full Report. WA AIDS CouncilThe goal of the HIV and Mobility Forum was to provide a collaborative space for discussing the priority actions needed for HIV in mobile populations in Western Australia. It also aimed to explore the creation of a Community of Practice for Action on HIV and Mobility in WA (CoPAHM WA). See the report here.  

2018 Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference Report Backs. You may be interested in the following Report Backs from the 2018 Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference relating to mobile populations. 

More report backs, as well as presentations, abstracts and audio recordings are now available on the website

1st World Congress on Migration, Ethnicity, Race & Health (MERH). Read the Open Access Editorial published by the European Journal of Public Health, including 33 abstracts of workshops, 279 oral and 271 poster presentations, here.

RESEARCH

Incident HIV infection has fallen rapidly in men who have sex with men in Melbourne, Australia (2013–2017) but not in the newly-arrived Asian-born. Medland et al. examined differences in incident HIV infection between newly-arrived (four years or less) Asian-born and other men who have sex with men (MSM) presenting for testing at Melbourne Sexual Health Centre. They found that while there has been an overall reduction amongst MSM, the incidence of HIV in newly-arrived Asian-born MSM remains high. Failing to address these new inequalities leaves individuals at risk and may offset the population benefit of biomedical HIV prevention. Read more here

Aiming for 90–90–90 – the importance of understanding the risk factors for HIV exposure and advanced HIV infection in migrant populations and other groups who do not report male-to-male sex. Peach et al. extracted data from the Victorian public health surveillance. They found that among Australian-born people, 27% reported exposure likely occurring abroad; the majority of these were men who reported exposure in South-East Asia. The majority of new non-MSM HIV diagnoses in Victoria were in migrants (58%). Almost half (46%) of these were estimated as to have acquired their HIV infection after migration to Australia. These results highlight the potential vulnerability of migrants after arrival in Australia, especially those from South-East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, and that of Australian-born men travelling to these regions. Read more here

Talking to migrant and refugee young people about sexual health in general practice. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with migrant and refugee young people aged 16-24 years living in Sydney. Botfield et al. found the majority of participants had seen a general practitioner (GP) for general health issues. However, most were reluctant to discuss sexual health with a practitioner whom they described as their 'family doctor', primarily because of concerns about judgement and confidentiality. The paper recommended that building the skills and confidence of GPs to work with this group and promote sexual health and wellbeing should be considered, and efforts should be made to communicate confidentiality and trustworthiness. Read more here

Preparedness of health care professionals for delivering sexual and reproductive health care to refugee and migrant women: A mixed methods study.The study by Mengesha et al. conducted an online survey and interviews with health care professionals (HCPs). HCPs recognised refugee and migrant women’s sexual and reproductive health (SRH) as a complex issue that requires unique skills for the delivery of optimal care. However, they reported a lack of training and knowledge in addressing refugee and migrant women’s SRH. There is a need to train HCPs in culturally sensitive care and include the SRH of refugee and migrant women in university and professional development curricula. Read more here.

Cross-sectional survey of Chinese-speaking and Thai-speaking female sex workers in Sydney, Australia: factors associated with consistent condom use. Foster et al. conducted a survey of Thai- and Chinese-speaking female sex workers. They found that only 72% of respondents used condoms 100% of the time for vaginal sex at work, and that consistent condom use was improved if their workplace provided condoms. Culturally appropriate health promotion for women and parlour owners working in the Australian sex industry should be prioritised. Read more here

The effect of mobility on HIV-related healthcare access and use for female sex workers: A systematic review. Davey et al. systematically reviewed the literature on mobility and HIV-related healthcare access and use among female sex workers. It found that mobility is associated with reduced initial healthcare access and interruption of antiretroviral therapy, consistent with literature from the general population. Discordance between effects on adherence and viral load may be due to measurement of mobility. Future research should carefully construct measures of mobility and consider a range of HIV-related healthcare outcomes. Read more here

Mobile phone messaging to promote uptake of HIV testing among migrant African communities in the UK. This feasibility study used participatory approaches to investigate the use of a text messaging intervention to encourage HIV testing among migrant African communities. They were sent two text messages per week (one on HIV and one on general health) for 12 weeks. Baseline and follow-up questionnaires were completed to measure HIV testing behaviour, HIV-related knowledge and attitudes and general health. There were statistically significant positive changes in attitudes about HIV and a trend towards increased knowledge about HIV. Read more here.

Influences associated with sexual practices among homeless young people in Pakistan. Noor explored factors influencing homeless young people’s decisions to engage in risky transactional sex making them vulnerable to STIs, notably HIV infection. The study found that transactional sex was a means through which participants met their certain material and nonmaterial needs. Despite being aware of the importance of condom use, participants often engage in condomless due to their financial dependence on sex work and social obligations in intimate relationships. The findings highlight the need for the promotion of consistent condom use among this population group. Find out more here.