Understanding the knowledge and perception of HIV among the African and Caribbean population in North London to encourage early testing: promoting a healthier fairer society
PHE ePoster Library. Sarafraz-Shekary N. Sep 12, 2017; 186646; 47
Dr. Negin Sarafraz-Shekary
Dr. Negin Sarafraz-Shekary
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Abstract IntroductionIn 2015, 53% of late HIV diagnosis was among Black African communities in London. Late diagnosis is often associated with poor knowledge and perception of being at risk, cultural barriers and fear of being stigmatized. Identifying the knowledge gaps and barriers in these communities are essential in tailoring strategies to prevention and reducing the inequality gap.MethodsHaringey Council commissioned Embrace UK to conduct a survey from 2011 to 2015. Target population were African and Caribbean residents (18+) who had two or more sexual partners at the time of the survey. Interviews were conducted in various community settings to identify knowledge gaps and signpost people to the community sexual health services. Results7200 people were interviewed. Data analysed for the intake from 2014-2015 (1800 responders). Knowledge indicators showed 54% (mainly aged 20-29 and those from Central African countries) were not aware HIV is more common in African communities. 34% were not aware effective HIV treatment is available and can reduce the likelihood of transmission. 34% did not know it is not safe to have sex up to 2-3 weeks after a negative HIV test. 62% thought by law you need to tell your GP your test result. 62% of men versus 37% of women had never been tested.ConclusionKey knowledge gaps were about HIV avoidance, mode of transmission and what treatment can achieve. Fear of being deported after disclosing a positive test to the GP and poor knowledge about treatment options were the main barriers in early testing
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