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siren brief project overview
A survey of HIV knowledge and use of health services among people born in sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia in Perth, Western Australia.
Completed (manuscripts in process).
Approved by the Curtin Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC number RDHS-49-16).
Ms Corie Gray (Curtin University), Dr Roanna Lobo (Curtin University), Ms Gemma Crawford (Curtin University), Associate Professor Alison Reid (Curtin University).
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.
A cross-sectional survey of HIV knowledge and use of health services among people born in sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia, who had arrived in Australia less than ten years ago and were living in Western Australia (n=209) was undertaken.
Scholarship received from the WA Department of Health Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Program.
SiREN held a supervisory role to support the research.
Project outputs and impacts
Results found that 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.
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.