Factors associated with testing for HIV in people aged ≥50 years

BMC Public Health 2018 18:1204

https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-6118-x

Published: 26 October 2018

Factors associated with testing for HIV in people aged ≥50 years: a qualitative study

Abstract

Background

Despite a decline in the number of new HIV infections in the UK overall, the number and proportion of new HIV diagnoses in people aged ≥50 years continues to increase. People aged ≥50 years are disproportionately affected by late diagnosis, which is associated with poorer health outcomes, increased treatment complexity and increased healthcare costs. Late HIV diagnosis also has significant public health implications in terms of onward HIV transmission. It is not fully understood what factors affect the decision of an older person to test for HIV. The aim of this study was to identify factors associated with testing for HIV in people aged ≥50 years who tested late for HIV.

Methods

We interviewed 20 people aged ≥50 years diagnosed late with HIV to identify factors associated with HIV testing. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed.

Results

Seven themes associated with HIV testing in people aged ≥50 years were identified: experience of early HIV/AIDS campaigns, HIV knowledge, presence of symptoms and symptom attribution, risk and risk perception, generational approaches to health and sexual health, stigma, and type of testing and testing venue.

Conclusion

Some factors associated with testing identified in this study were unique to older individuals. People aged ≥50 years often do not perceive themselves to be at risk of HIV. Further, stigma and a lack of knowledge of how to access HIV testing suggest a need for health promotion and suggest current sexual health services may need to adapt to better meet their needs.

New clinic posters for download from Young Deadly Free

Young Deadly Free, October 2018

The team at Young Deadly Free have been busy creating new posters with Aboriginal communities across Australia. The posters aim to get their key messages out to young people and others in a fresh, engaging way.

All of our posters highlight positive messages from people living and working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities about the importance of STI and BBV testing.

  • View and download their 36 new posters here

New multilingual HIV resource: 7 good reasons to test for HIV now

Positive Life / NSW Multicultural HIV and Hepatitis Service (MHAHS) / Pozhet, June 2018

The new multilingual resource was developed by Positive Life NSW, Multicultural HIV and Hepatitis Service (MHAHS) and Pozhet, and funded by NSW Health.  

“The campaign is asking people at risk to get tested for  HIV because roughly one in ten people living with HIV don’t know they have the virus,” said Positive Life NSW CEO, Craig Cooper.

“We are pleased to partner with the Positive Life NSW and Pozhet who are reaching out to people from culturally diverse backgrounds,” said Barbara Luisi, manager of the MHAHS. “HIV affects people of all genders, cultures, languages and nationalities.”

The digital resource covers seven of the key reasons why people should get tested for HIV in plain everyday language and was  designed to engage people with low literacy skills who may be also from diverse cultural backgrounds.

It  has been developed in English, Arabic, Chinese, Indonesian, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese.

  • Download the printable version of the resource here or the video version here

Students could learn about endometriosis as part of sex education

Guardian Australia, 

Teaching schoolchildren about pelvic pain will form part of a proposed national plan to tackle endometriosis, the debilitating condition that affects hundreds of thousands of women.

The health minister, Greg Hunt, will push the states and territories to commit to the plan, which was discussed at Friday’s Council of Australian Governments [Coag] meeting in Sydney. The draft plan is being developed in collaboration with a coalition of endometriosis advocacy and research organisations.

Survey for all women and anyone with a cervix: HPV-related cancer awareness

Positive Life in partnership with Femfatales, the National Network of Women Living with HIV, 2018

All women and anyone with a cervix in Australia, both HIV-positive and HIV-negative, are invited to take an online, anonymous survey about awareness of HPV and related cancers.

Positive Life NSW in partnership with Femfatales, the National Network of Women Living with HIV, has developed a survey to assess levels of HPV-related cancer awareness among women.

The results of this survey will help them better understand how they can support women to prevent HPV-related cancer and how they can support women in recovery from HPV-related cancer. The responses will also assist in the development of targeted educational resources for immunocompromised women and women living with HIV, who are three times more likely to develop cervical cancer. No identifying information will be collected.

The online survey will take approximately eight minutes to complete. If you require a hard-copy of the survey, they can mail some to you with reply paid envelopes: please feel free to contact Katya on (02) 9206 2178 or at KatyaS@positivelife.org.au

Disclaimer – the responsibility for the ethical aspects of this survey are with the organisation Positive Life NSW. SHINE SA accepts no responsibility or liability for the survey.

New sexual health videos for international students

WA Department of Health, 2018

The WA Department of Health has launched its 2018 “Be Safe. Stay Well” sexual health campaign for international students. The four short videos, available on the Healthy WA website were developed in consultation with international students and aim to give students from across the world a good understanding of sexual health topics and the health care system in WA.

Video – Health service costs

Read the video transcript – Health service costs

Video – Discussing sexually transmitted infections

Read the video transcript – Discussing sexually transmitted infections

Video – Sex and the law

Read the video transcript – Sex and the law

Video – Importance of safe sex

Read the video transcript – Importance of safe sex