Decision-making about infant feeding among African women living with HIV in the UK

“It pains me because as a woman you have to breastfeed your baby”: decision-making about infant feeding among African women living with HIV in the UK

Sex Transm Infect 2016;92:331-336 doi:10.1136/sextrans-2015-052224

Abstract

Objectives UK guidance advises HIV-positive women to abstain from breast feeding. Although this eliminates the risk of postnatal vertical transmission of HIV, the impact of replacement feeding on mothers is often overlooked. This qualitative study examines, for the first time in the UK, decision-making about infant feeding among African women living with HIV.

Methods Between 2010 and 2011, we conducted semistructured interviews with 23 HIV-positive African women who were pregnant or had recently given birth. We recruited participants from three HIV antenatal clinics in London.

Results Women highlighted the cultural importance of breast feeding in African communities and the social pressure to breast feed, also describing fears that replacement feeding would signify their HIV status. Participants had significant concerns about physical and psychological effects of replacement feeding on their child and felt their identity as good mothers was compromised by not breast feeding. However, almost all chose to refrain from breast feeding, driven by the desire to minimise vertical transmission risk. Participants’ resilience was strengthened by financial assistance with replacement feeding, examples of healthy formula-fed children and support from partners, family, peers and professionals.

Conclusions The decision to avoid breast feeding came at considerable emotional cost to participants. Professionals should be aware of the difficulties encountered by HIV-positive women in refraining from breast feeding, especially those from migrant African communities where breast feeding is culturally normative. Appropriate financial and emotional support increases women’s capacity to adhere to their infant-feeding decisions and may reduce the emotional impact.

Read article (open access) here

 

Forum this Friday – intersectional diversity: CALD and LGBTIQ

SHine SA, July 2016

Our identities often fall into several groups at one time. We call this intersectionality. This can lead to particular issues for people.
What are the issues faced by culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) people who also identify as LGBTIQ?
Join us as we explore the issues faced by CALD LGBTIQ people, including:
> Homophobia
> Racism
> Invisibility
> Stigma and discrimination
> Exclusion and isolation
> Impact on health and wellbeing

We will discuss personal and professional experiences.

The session will be facilitated by Khadija Gbla. Panel members include:
> Ben Yi (Community Support Worker, PEACE Multicultural Services)
> Anisa Varasteh (Community Service Coordinator, PEACE Multicultural Services)
> Leah Sarkanj (Social Worker, Multicultural Youth SA)
> Sharna Ciotti (Senior Social Worker, Families SA)

When 15 July 2016 (Friday)
Where SHine SA, 64c Woodville Road, Woodville
Time 1.30 – 4.30 pm
Cost $50 (Student Concession $25) – Light refreshments provided.

There are still places left, online enrolment here:
www.shinesa.org.au/events/refresh-forums

Enquiries Phone 8300 5317 / Email shinesacourses@shinesa.org.au

‘I’m a bisexual homoromantic’: why young people are rejecting old labels

The Guardian, Wed 19th August 2015

A YouGov poll this week put the number of 18- to 24-year-old Brits who identify as entirely heterosexual at 46%, while just 6% would call themselves exclusively gay. Sexuality now falls between the lines: identity is more pliable, and fluidity more acceptable, than ever before.

Read more here

Outing Disability: a photographic journey

Aside

Outing Disability, an exhibiton featuring photographs by internationally acclaimed photographer Belinda Mason, invites you on a reflective journey into the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people with disability.

This series of portraits provides a rare insight into the hopes and dreams of 23 unique people as they share their struggles and triumphs of coming out, exploring identity, discovering love and finding pride.

  • Download the Outing Disability poster series: A set of three powerful and thought provoking images and quotes from the photographic exhibition (PDF)Poster 1 : ‘I know who I am

    Poster 2: ‘Strength of self

    Poster 3: ‘Glad to be out

  • The Outing Disability exhibition will be showing next in Newcastle,  at Lovett Gallery, Newcastle Region Library, Level 2, Laman Street, Newcastle, from Friday, 8th May – Saturday, 30th May 2015. Download exhibition flyer (PDF) for Newcastle here

Attitudes and characteristics of health professionals working in Aboriginal health

Rural and Remote Health, Published: 30 March 2015

Introduction: There is an unacceptable gap in health status between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Australia. Linked to social inequalities in health and political and historical marginalisation, this health gap must be urgently addressed. It is important that health professionals, the majority of whom in Australia are non-Aboriginal, are confident and equipped to work in Aboriginal health in order to contribute towards closing the health gap. The purpose of this study was to explore the attitudes and characteristics of non-Aboriginal health professionals working in Aboriginal health.

Download article full text here