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.

First criminal prosecution of female genital mutilation in Queensland goes to trial today

ABC News, 21/05/18

The first couple to be prosecuted on female genital mutilation charges in Queensland have pleaded not guilty to allegedly taking two girls aged nine and 12 to Africa to undergo the procedure.

The African man and woman—who cannot be named for legal reasons—were charged in 2015 on two counts each of removing a child from the state for female genital mutilation.

Their case is being heard today at a Beenleigh sitting of the District Court.

Changing attitudes to and engagement with biomedical HIV prevention by gay and bisexual men

Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW, 2017

The latest findings from the PrEPARE Project have now been published. The  PrEPARE Project is a longitudinal study of Australian gay and bisexual men’s attitudes to biomedical HIV prevention, particularly PrEP and treatment as prevention (TasP).

With the unprecedented scaling up of PrEP access in many states over the last few years, we have observed a surge in PrEP use, and increasing levels of support for PrEP in the community. Belief in the effectiveness of TasP has also increased, although many men remain skeptical about it. The report includes national summary data. it is hoped that the report will be useful in assessing community readiness for biomedical prevention and potential issues in implementation.

Key findings:

» Nearly a quarter of gay and bisexual men (24%) reported they had ever used PrEP. This was a large increase from the 2015 survey (3%).

» Most current PrEP users were accessing it from a research study or demonstration project (82%) and the majority (74%) reported increased sexual confidence and reduced concern about acquiring HIV as a result of PrEP.

» Nearly all participants (95%) had heard of PrEP and two-thirds of participants (66%) knew someone who had taken PrEP; substantial increases from the 2015 survey. Knowledge of PrEP also improved between 2015 and 2017.

» Willingness to use PrEP has increased among HIV-negative and untested men (to 37% in 2017) and concern about using it has fallen (to 36%).

» Support for gay and bisexual men using PrEP increased to 75% in 2017, as did willingness to have sex with someone using PrEP (47%).

» Belief that HIV treatment prevents transmission increased to 20% in 2017; the increase was primarily among HIV-negative and untested men.

» Agreement that early HIV treatment is necessary increased to 79% in 2017; this increase was concentrated among HIV-positive men

Breast cancer screening and cultural barriers: Why some women are missing early detection

ABC, Saturday 3 January, 2018

Some women say it’s fate. Others believe in “God’s will”. Then there are those who simply feel uncomfortable talking about their breasts. When it comes to breast cancer screening in culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD), there are varied and complex reasons that can hinder important messages about early detection.

A recent analysis of five studies involving more than 1,700 first-generation Chinese, African, Arabic, Korean and Indian-Australian women found just 19 per cent identified as “breast aware”, and only 27 per cent aged 40 or above had participated in annual clinical breast exams.

Lead researcher Dr Cannas Kwok, who’s been investigating the breast cancer beliefs and attitudes of migrant Australian women since 2005, says the results, published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, are concerning.

What is going on in gay men’s lives when they acquire HIV?

nam/aidsmap, Published: 08 September 2017

Gay men in England who have recently become HIV positive describe a complex web of factors which may have contributed to their infection, according to a qualitative study recently published in BMJ Open.

“Individuals who experienced multiple stressors, gradually over the life course or more suddenly, were especially vulnerable to HIV and being drawn into sexual risk situations, while the social environment created a context that enabled risk of HIV infection,” the researchers write. Individual and interpersonal factors frequently combined with community or structural factors, such as the widespread use of dating apps, chemsex and HIV treatment, as well as changing perceptions of the seriousness of an HIV infection.

THE FRESH COURSE: ABORIGINAL FOCUS – SHine SA’s Sexual Health Course for Workers

SHine SA, January 2017

This dynamic course aims to update workers to include relationships and sexual health education and support in their work.

On completion of the FRESH Course you will have:

> an increased level of confidence working with clients in the area of sexual health

> a better understanding of how values and beliefs may influence your practice in this area of work

> a new vocabulary about sexual health and relationships to use when talking with your clients

> skills to address clients’ sexual health needs

> developed an understanding of current resources available and how to use them effectively with clients

Topics include:

  • Introduction to Sexual Health
  • Attitudes to Sex & Sexuality
  • Contraception
  • Pregnancy Options
  • Sex and the Law
  • Safer Sex & STIs
  • Gender & Diversity
  • Family Violence
  • Sex and Technology
  • Resources

WHEN: 14–15 February 2017

WHERE: SHine SA, 64c Woodville Road, Woodville

TIME: 9.00am – 5.00pm

COST: Free (for people who work solely or primarily with Aboriginal young people; if unsure of eligibility please contact the Course Coordinators via the channels below)