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Similarities and Differences in Health Care Use and HIV-Related Concerns Based on Immigration Profile: Findings from the BLACCH Study Interviews
Ontario HIV Treatment Network Research Conference (2010)
  • Shamara M Baidoobonso
  • Harina Mokanan
  • Monica Abdelkader
  • Greta Bauer
Background and Objectives: Most HIV and health studies in African, Caribbean and Black (ACB) communities occur in large urban centres and rarely examine how the interactions between race, migration, gender, HIV-related stigma, service use and multiple dimensions of social position interact and act individually to affect health and HIV vulnerability. This lack of information negatively impacts HIV prevention efforts for ACB communities. This analysis explores the HIV-related experiences of people from different immigration classes. Methods: Using a community-based approach, a purposive sample of 22 ACB community members were interviewed to collect information about health-related experiences in London, Ontario. Respondents represented a cross-section of ACB communities. Interview topics used in this analysis include: general health; HIV-related beliefs, behaviours, knowledge, stigma and services; and health care service use. The interviews are being analyzed using a modified grounded theory approach to identify emergent themes. The immigration classes of the 22 respondents included in this analysis are: family class (five); refugees (four); student visa (three); skilled worker (one); Canadian-born (six); and three persons did not indicate their immigration class. Results: Respondents raised in Canada associated health with diet, and Canadian-born persons viewed themselves as less healthy. Canadian-born persons and refugees reported that diabetes is an important health issue, Canadian-born persons did not describe HIV as an important health issue. All refugees in the sample reported having a primary care provider in London, and students reported accessing health services on-campus. People who have lived in Canada for 10 years or more reported using a wider variety of health services. Refugees tended to only report using family doctors and specialists, and students reported only using on-campus clinics and pharmacies. People who lived in Canada for 10 or more years reported being unsatisfied with health care services because of the shortage of family doctors. All groups, except refugees, talked about the need for more ACB service providers. Participants believed their risk of contracting HIV was low, and only sexual risk was considered. Also, respondents reported that stigma is a barrier to accessing HIV services and that there is a need for education, services and support. Discussion: These findings highlight some of the heterogeneity in the experiences and beliefs of ACB people based on their immigration profiles. This information is useful for outreach and other HIV prevention programs that are currently underway locally for ACB communities, refugees and newcomers. They provide a basis for how HIV prevention and care messages and resources should be distributed.
Publication Date
November, 2010
Citation Information
Shamara M Baidoobonso, Harina Mokanan, Monica Abdelkader and Greta Bauer. "Similarities and Differences in Health Care Use and HIV-Related Concerns Based on Immigration Profile: Findings from the BLACCH Study Interviews" Ontario HIV Treatment Network Research Conference (2010)
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