Sexual Health, HIV Care and Pre-exposure Prophylaxis in the African Immigrant Population: A Needs Assessment
The objective was to gain insight, from the perspective of healthcare professionals, non-medical service providers and community-based organizations working with a large majority of African immigrant patients or clients, regarding sexual health and the potential for the use of HIV PrEP in this priority population. Thirty key informants participated in a needs assessment. A questionnaire was used to obtain information through focus groups, structured interviews and by self-administration. There are cultural and linguistic barriers to engaging Africans in discussing sexual health issues. Key challenges to uptake of PrEP are multi-dimensional: socioeconomic [immigration status, housing]; cultural [talking about sex ’taboo’, HIV related stigma, no concept of preventive care]; provider-related (cultural competency, inadequate PrEP education, language barrier); and individual (lack of awareness, perception of HIV risk). Meeting basic needs like housing, assuring access to care (including PrEP), community-based education, relevant training of providers, and tailored messaging are strongly recommended. Effectively addressing HIV incidence in the African-born immigrant population redonequires a multi-pronged approach.
KeywordsAfrican-born immigrants HIV/AIDS HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis Sexual health
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