COPAHM E-NEWS ISSUE 8, 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

Australian Research Council Linkage Project - Reducing health disparities for culturally and linguistically diverse peoples. Ethics approval for the project has been received and data collection for Stage One will commence later this month. Stage One comprises qualitative interviews with people born in South East Asia, North East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa to investigate the factors that influence access to, and experiences of, STI and Blood Borne Virus (BBV) health services in Australia.  Additionally, a draft survey tool is being finalised for Stage Two which will commence in 2020.  The survey includes items to measure knowledge, behaviour, attitudes and practices relevant to the prevention and control of STIs and BBVs.  

Co-Designing an Intervention to Increase HIV Testing Uptake with Women from Indonesia At-Risk of HIV: Protocol for a Participatory Action Research Study. Gray et al. has published a protocol paper for a current project working with women from Indonesia to co-design an HIV intervention. Read more here.

 

New Faces at CoPAHM 


The Australian Research Council Linkage team is pleased to welcome Meagan Roberts into the role of Research Assistant. Meagan comes on board the team at Curtin University after working at the Sexual Health and Blood-borne Virus Program at the WA Department of Health, and then at the Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia for two years as both a Sexual Health Project Officer and Youth Policy Officer where she gained experience developing policy and coordinating peer-based sexual health projects. 

Sasha Holder is a final year undergraduate studying health promotion. She is volunteering on two projects. The first project is developing an infographic to improve knowledge translation from research to practice. The infographic aims to increase awareness of priority actions for addressing HIV in mobile populations among organisations which focus on HIV and/or migrant and mobile populations. We have drafted up three infographic resources and look forward to sharing these with you. The second project is working on an HIV resource review using the Health Literacy Index tool. After the resource review is completed a content analysis will begin. This will dive deeper into any underlining themes in the review resources and potential gaps which haven't been addressed. 

Sonam Wangda has recently completed his Masters of Public Health at Curtin University. As part of his masters, Sonam was involved in a scoping review, titled "Best practices in the administration of sexual health and blood-borne virus surveys in migrant populations" which included 54 articles. His work recommends the use of a mixed-mode data collection methods and to carefully take into consideration, the language, sensitivity of the topic, and the technological proficiency, when designing surveys with migrants. Sonam will be returning to his home in Bhutan where he will rejoin the Ministry of Health. 

Anupriya Sharma recently graduated with her Master in Public Health at Curtin University. She is volunteering with CoPAHM to create two main evidence briefs on HIV with mobile and migrant populations. The evidence briefs will aim to synthesise information for action for HIV and mobile populations to provide more detailed recommendations for policy, practice, and research. The next step will be to create an online hub for these briefs. 

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.

Consensus Statement on Australia’s International Leadership Role on HIV. This consensus statement by Australian organisations working internationally on HIV prevention and care has been developed to ensure Australia continues to make a significant, effective and durable contribution to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support globally and particularly in our region of Asia and the Pacific. View it here

Centre for Culture, Ethnicity & Health Multicultural Community Action network forum. On World Refugee Day, the 20th of June, Centre for Culture, Ethnicity & Health (CCEH) held the Multicultural Community Action Network (M-CAN) forum: Access for All at the Multicultural Hub. The Forum was an opportunity to raise questions about barriers and enablers to HIV treatment and prevention access. A condensed transcript of the forum is available here.

Let's talk about it... Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland have developed a new resource "Let's talk about it..." booklet which includes information on HIV,  Hepatitis and STIs. This resource is designed for general culturally and linguistically diverse communities to increase their awareness and knowledge on Blood Borne Viruses and STIs. It will be translated into other languages. You can access the booklet here

New resources available to address hepatitis and liver cancer in Chinese, Filipino and Thai communities. A new campaign is encouraging members of Victoria’s Chinese, Thai and Filipino communities to get tested for Hepatitis B and C to prevent liver cancer. Cancer Council Victoria, in partnership with the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity & Health, and St Vincent’s Hospital have created new materials to encourage people to get tested for hepatitis B and C and seek treatment and care. You can download resources here.

Targeting Asian gay men. Dr Nicolas Medland, Dr Benjamin Bavinton and Karen Price discuss HIV diagnoses among Asian-born gay men in Australia and a range of initiatives that exist to tackle the problem. Read more here

International Student Training. More than 2000 international students in Sydney have benefited from the International Student HIV Project, led by the Multicultural HIV and Hepatitis Service (MHAHS). The project aims to increase HIV health literacy, and promote access to HIV testing, prevention and treatment among students attending English language colleges in NSW. The project works in collaboration with Positive Life NSW and Pozhet, establishing sustainable partnerships with key education providers and student bodies. Adopting a multi-strategic approach, MHAHS engaged over 1500 students in HIV education sessions; distributed more than 2000 resources at information stalls; developed an English language lesson plan on HIV; and launched a multilingual social media campaign to rise HIV testing among international students. For more information about the MHAHS International Students HIV Project, please contact Wa'el Sabri, Senior Community Engagement Officer, on Wael.Sabri@health.nsw.gov.au

International Student Sexual Health Trainings. The WA AIDS Council is currently running a three part series on sexual health targeted at international students. The first two sessions, covering HIV, STIs, consent, condom use, online safety, LGBTIQ+ health and more, have been completed with great success. The final session, focusing on drug and alcohol harm reduction and the impact of substance use on sexual health will run next week.  This is the first training series of its kind run by the AIDs Council and will continue to run in the future in different settings.

CoPAHM WA. CoPAHM WA is currently applying for funding for a project to increase HIV testing among people from Asian backgrounds living in Perth through the use of the Atomo HIV Self Test kit. This project will seek ways to reach people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and enable future project the ability to reach other target groups in the future. 

 

REPORTS

Intimate attitudes, practices and knowledges: Chinese-speaking international students in Australia. In 2018, The University of Melbourne and Burnet Institute conducted a survey with 723 Chinese-speaking international students. This study aimed to generate data on Chinese international students’ sexual experiences in order to inform sexual health service provision in Australia. Twenty percent of respondents reported a change in their sexual and dating behaviours since arriving in Australia, especially increases in sexual activity and engaging in sexual behaviours for the first time. The majority of participants stated that they would use Chinese-language internet sources for general information on sex and relationships (81%) and half the participants thought they would benefit from more tailored information for international students about sexual health. Access the report here

HIV and overseas born gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations has released a research brief. Access it here. 

 

RESEARCH

Mobility and its Effects on HIV Acquisition and Treatment Engagement: Recent Theoretical and Empirical Advances. Camlin et al. reviewed literature across multiple disciplines to describe issues with the measurement of population mobility in HIV research and to summarize evidence of causal pathways linking mobility to HIV acquisition risks and treatment engagement. Evidence continues to accumulate that mobility is linked to higher HIV incidence, and that it challenges optimal treatment engagement. Gender continues to be important: while men are more mobile than women, women’s mobility particularly heightens their HIV acquisition risks. The authors conclude that interventions targeting the HIV prevention and care needs of mobile populations remain few in number and urgently needed. Read more here.

Sex Tourism, Condomless Anal Intercourse, and HIV Risk Among Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM). An online survey of 580 MSM by Harry-Hernandez et al. found that almost 20% of respondents had engaged in sex tourism in their lifetime. Sex tourism was associated with an elevated risk of engagement in condomless receptive anal intercourse, use of alcohol/drugs during sex, participation in group sex, and an elevated risk of diagnosis with any type of STI over the previous year. The authors recommend that sexual health promotion interventions should target MSM who engage in sex tourism. You can read more here.

International Travel as a Context for Sexual and Contraceptive Behaviors: A Qualitative Study of Young Women Traveling Outside the U.S. Martins et al. completed semi-structured interviews with female university students with recent (n = 25) or upcoming (n = 19) travel outside the U.S. Some travelers had unexpected sexual encounters, involving health-protecting behaviours and risk-taking (e.g., unprotected sex, substance use). This study suggests complex associations between international travel and young women’s sexual and reproductive health. The authors identified potential intervention opportunities via clinical services, education, and policy to reduce young women’s risk of adverse sexual and reproductive health outcomes while traveling abroad. Read more here.

Sexual Migration and HIV Risk in a Sample of Brazilian, Colombian and Dominican Immigrant MSM Living in New York City. A cross-sectional survey by Nieves-Lugo et al. examined motivations for migration to the United States (US) among 482 Brazilian, Colombian, and Dominican men who have sex with men (MSM). Hierarchical logistic regression analysis indicated that sexual migration motivated by avoiding persecution due to being gay was associated with increased odds of contracting HIV after arrival in the US, whereas sexual migration to lead a gay life was not. The findings highlight the importance of addressing the negative impact of anti-gay discrimination in countries of origin.  Read more here.

Patterns of Sexual Risk Behavior, HIV Infection, and Use of Health Services Among Sub-Saharan African Migrants in Portugal. A cross-sectional bio-behavioural survey was conducted by Dias et al. with 790 migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa. Cluster analysis identified five subgroups with differing levels of HIV infection (2.5% to 11.3%). In all subgroups the authors found low rates of HIV testing and high unawareness of HIV sero-status. Targeted prevention interventions are needed to reduce unprotected sexual relations and undiagnosed infection, as well as improve linkage to sexual health services. You can read more here.

Immigration as a crisis tendency for HIV vulnerability among racialised women living with HIV in Ontario, Canada: an anti-oppressive lens. Kteily-Hawa et al. conducted in-depth interviews with South Asian immigrant women in Canada, using an inter-sectional and anti-oppressive lens. This study explored the role of immigration in bringing about changes in gender roles and the structure of gender relations and their effect on HIV risk among immigrant women as they experienced crisis tendencies in the face of hegemonic masculinity. The authors found inter-dependencies between immigration and each of the structural, individual and normative factors as they pertain to crisis tendencies when patriarchy is disrupted. Read more here.

Social and structural factors and engagement in HIV care of sub-Saharan African migrants diagnosed with HIV in the Paris region. This study explores migrants from sub-Saharan Africa entry into care after a HIV diagnosis as well as the related social determinants. The study found that participants were more likely to engage in HIV care during years when they were effectively covered by health insurance and if the HIV test was carried out by the initiative of a doctor. Therefore, highlighting the importance of universal access to health insurance for migrants. You can continue reading here.

Refugee mothers, migration pathways and HIV: a population-based cohort study. This study found HIV prevalence was almost twice as high if a refugee resided in a transit country prior to arriving in Canada when compared to those who arrived in Canada directly from their country of birth. The authors recommend the continuation of HIV screening for immigrants who are born in a country where HIV prevalence is ≥1%, similar strategies may be successful in other settings. You can read more here.

Why do sub‐Saharan Africans present late for HIV care in Switzerland? This study explored the reasons for late presentation to care among sub-Saharan Africans (SSAs) in Switzerland. It found that women from Western Europe were slightly more likely to present late than men, whereas there was no sex difference in patients from SSA. Fear of being expelled from Switzerland was reported by 26.1% of late presenters from SSA.. This study reflects the difficulties in accessing routine medical care among specific migrant communities. You can read more here. 

Injection risk norms and practices among migrant Puerto Rican people who inject drugs in New York City: The limits of acculturation theory. This study highlights how migrant people who inject drugs from Puerto Rico actively preserve high-risk injecting behaviours and norms acquired in their country of birth. The study highlights the importance of harm reduction programs and how they should pay closer attention to individual/community rationales behind injection risks. You can read more here

Exploring stigma: HIV in marginalised communities (commentary). This commentary summarises, "Invisible Lives", a book exploring the different sources of stigma experienced by a wide range of communities affected by HIV and AIDS. This book describes different groups and their unique struggles with HIV while adding a wealth of useful statistics and background information alongside the personal accounts that are central to the narrative. Read here to learn more.

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