School of Public Health, Curtin University, Bentley, WA

+61 8 9266 4739

copahm@curtin.edu.au 

COPAHM E-NEWS ISSUE 7, 2019

 

by SiREN  |  March 2, 2019   

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. 

CoPAHM UPDATES:

ARC Linkage Project - Reducing health disparities for culturally and linguistically diverse peoples. The project team are pleased to welcome Dr Daniel Vujcich as the Project Coordinator. Daniel comes to Curtin University having worked as a Senior Policy Officer in the Sexual Health and Blood-borne Virus Program at the WA Department of Health, and then as a coordinator of peer-based sexual health projects at the Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia. 

HIV diagnoses in migrant populations in Australia - A changing epidemiology. Gunaratnam et al. conducted a detailed analysis of trends in new HIV diagnoses in Australia by country of birth, to understand any changes in epidemiology, relationship to migration patterns and implications for public health programs. The paper suggests tailored strategies must be developed to increase access to, and uptake of, prevention, testing and treatment in this group. Read more here.

Why I can’t, won’t or don’t Test for HIV: Insights from Australian migrants born in Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia. Gray et al. conducted focus groups with 77 participants with people from sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), Southeast Asia (SEA) and Northeast Asia (NEA) in four jurisdictions in Australia. Focus groups discussed barriers to HIV testing and the acceptability of new testing methods. Barriers to HIV testing included: cost and eligibility of health services, low visibility of HIV in Australia, HIV-related stigma, and missed opportunities by general practitioners (GPs) for early diagnosis of HIV and linkage into care. Interventions to increase HIV testing rates among SSA and SEA/NEA migrants in Australia need to be multi-strategic and aimed at individual, community and policy levels. Rapid HIV testing and self-testing present an opportunity to engage with migrants outside of traditional health care settings. Read more here

HIV and Mobility presentations at 23rd IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion in April. The CoPAHM team will be presenting several presentations relating to HIV and Mobility. You can find out more about the conference here. We hope to see you there! 

 

NEWS:

2019 Australasian HIV and Sexual Health Conferences. The Sexual Health Conference will be held from September 16-18 and the HIV Conference will be held from the September 17-19. We look forward to seeing CoPAHM members in Perth! Find out more here.

WA AIDS Council recruitment for community champions. The WA AIDS Council is recruiting people who are community leaders or active community members to educate their community about HIV. They are seeking people from South-East Asian and Sub-Saharan African backgrounds who live in Perth, speak English and are connected and passionate about their community. For more information about the project and how to get involved, click here or contact Tyler Morgan at tmorgan@waaids.com

2019 Sex Lecture: Engaging gay Asian men: hard to reach amongst the hard to reach? Associate Professor Limin Mao, from CSRH at UNSW Sydney, presents at the third annual Sex Lecture, reflecting on her research in this area alongside shifting approaches towards engaging and collaborating with ethnic minorities that are often marginalised. Panellists are Brent Mackie (ACON), Dr Bill Kefalas (UNSW Health Service) and Dr Shih-Chi Kao (Sydney Local Health District). Watch the lecture here

HIV risks increased by trend towards late diagnosis, researcher warns. This article, published February 24 by ABC news, highlights increasing trends of late diagnosis across Australia. Academics and members of the general public call for new public awareness campaigns and express a need for authorities to move quickly and register the use of HIV home-testing kits. Read it here.

Australia will never be HIV-free if access to prevention requires a Medicare card. Touching on the new national HIV strategy, this article discusses Medicare ineligibility as a factor preventing access to HIV treatment among specific groups, with a particular focus on individuals with temporary visas. Dr Nick Medland, sexual health physician and senior researcher at UNSW, highlights threats to this ‘ambitious goal’ because of new emerging inequalities in Australia. The author also discusses several recommendations for Australia. Available here.

New HIV resources: HIV and Immigration and Medicare Ineligible Factsheets. Queensland Positive People and ASHM, along with an Expert Working Group, have released two new resources. Patients living with HIV or at risk of HIV who are Medicare ineligible are highly vulnerable and at risk of poorer health outcomes. Read more and access the resources here.

New HIV Testing Initiative to make it easier for Chinese-Speaking Gay Men to Test Often. Leading HIV organisation ACON, in partnership with Sydney Sexual Health Centre, is now offering its popular rapid HIV testing service a [TEST] in Mandarin to provide Chinese-speaking gay men and men who have sex with men easier access to sexual health screenings and information. Get more info here.

 

RESEARCH:

‘The UCL – Lancet Commission on Migration and Health: the health of a world on the move’ has been published! The Commission’s foundation is that migration and health are inextricably linked – and key to sustainable development. It provides a framework of migration as a dynamic process, providing evidence of the multiple factors that would be beneficial or detrimental to individuals and systems along the migration journey – at origin, transit, destination, and return. It also lays out a research agenda to better ensure the health of migrants, and the Commission shows that migration policies can be both ethical and feasible – calling for governments, international agencies, and professionals to promote health in global mobility. Access it here.

Ethical considerations of using walking interviews to engage migrant and refugee young people in health service research. This case study provides an overview of the experience of conducting walking interviews with migrant and refugee young people in Sydney, Australia, and the associated ethical considerations of employing this method to elicit rich data on their views of different sexual and reproductive health services. The walking interview method proved a valuable tool to obtain feedback and insights directly from young people on the aspects of health services they liked, did not like or felt were important to them. It is important that services ensure the processes are appropriate, accessible and acceptable to young people. You can read it here. 

Mobile phone messaging to promote uptake of HIV testing among migrant African communities in the UK. In the UK, African communities are a focus of public health efforts to increase uptake of HIV testing. Mobile phone interventions may be an innovative way of reaching migrant groups who are known to face multiple obstacles in accessing mainstream health services. In this paper, Evans et al. presents findings from a feasibility study that used participatory approaches to investigate the use of a text messaging intervention to encourage HIV testing among migrant African communities. Read more here

A missed opportunity? Lack of knowledge about sexual and reproductive health services among immigrant women in Sweden. This study by Akerman et al. investigates the knowledge about and use of sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRH) services among immigrant women in Sweden. Poor SRH among immigrant women is often related to limited access or suboptimal use of healthcare services. About one-third of the immigrant women reported lack of knowledge of where to go for contraceptive counselling. Experiencing lack of emotional social support and not having had children was associated with this lack of knowledge. New health policies and strategies should aim to increase knowledge of SRH services among immigrants. Access it here

The effect of United Kingdom immigration policies on migrant access to sexual and reproductive healthcare. This article by Whelan explores several health service policies and their ramifications for immigrant patients who access sexual health and family services. The article explores topics such as HIV, sex workers, and health inequalities. In conclusion, Whelan calls for health professionals working in the National Health Service to support patients to receive care, and not allow themselves to be complacent that their services will be unaffected by these policies. Read more here

Invisible Minority: HIV prevention health policy for the Asian American Population. Due to state and national methods of data collection for race and ethnicity with regard to sexually transmitted infections and HIV, the Asian American population’s data are often limited. The purpose of this article, by Kim & Aronowitz, is to identify the potential historical and political reasons why the Asian American population’s HIV or sexual risk has not been fully documented and to propose potential health policy solutions. Kim & Aronowitz state it is critical to engage stakeholders and push for changes in policy to improve data gaps, advance policy changes at a grassroots level, and change how researchers classify ethnic and racial groups in national surveys. You can read it here

Facilitators and barriers to HIV testing among Asians in the United States: A systematic review. This systematic review addresses the high rate of undiagnosed HIV among Asian populations in the United States. The review aims to examine predictors of HIV testing among Asians in the United States. The review concludes by suggesting increased efforts to conduct high-quality studies that engage multi-level frameworks and that pay attention to differences in ethnic subgroups, may improve understanding of HIV testing disparities and facilitate the development of targeted interventions to increase HIV testing among Asians in the United States. Read it here

Sexual safety and HIV prevention in travel medicine: Practical considerations and new approaches. This articles discusses the role of these different strategies for travellers, and provides resources to assist clinicians in making clinical decisions and in educating travellers about sexual safety. Cornelisse et al. suggest that the implementation of a travellers "first aid kit" (including condoms and lubricant, and depending on the level of HIV/STI risk, HIV PrEP or PEP, and antibiotics to treat bacterial STIs), advising travellers about HIV PrEP or PEP, and advising travellers who engage in condomless sex during travel to seek HIV and STI testing upon return to their home. Read it here.