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      Engaging black sub-Saharan African communities and their gatekeepers in HIV prevention programs: Challenges and strategies from England

      1 , 2 ,
      Family Medicine and Community Health
      African communities, HIV prevention, gatekeepers

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          Objective: HIV infection is a sensitive issue in black communities [Serrant-Green L. Black Caribbean men, sexual health decisions and silences. Doctoral thesis. Nottingham School of Nursing, University of Nottingham; 2004]. Statistics show black sub-Saharan African (BSSA) communities disproportionately constitute two-thirds of people with HIV [Heath Protection Agency. Health protection report: latest infection reports-GOV.UK; 2013]. African communities constitute 30% of people accessing HIV treatment in the United Kingdom yet represent less than 1% of the population [Health Protection Agency. HIV in the United Kingdom: 2012 report; 2012], [Department of Health. DVD about FGM. 2012. Available from fgm@dh.gsi.gov.uk.]. This article explores the sociocultural challenges in engaging BSSA communities in HIV prevention programs in England and possible strategies to improve their involvement.

          Methods: Twelve focus group discussions and 24 semistructured interviews were conducted in a 2-year period with participants from the BSSA communities and sexual health services in the West Midlands, England. The research was supported by the Ubuntu scheme, a sexual health initiative working with African communities in Birmingham, England.

          Results: Ineffective engagement with African communities can hinder the effectiveness of HIV prevention programs. Skills and strategies sensitive to BSSA culture are important for successful implementation of prevention programs. HIV prevention programs face challenges including stigma, denial, and marginalized views within BSSA communities.

          Conclusion: Networking, coordination, and cultural sensitivity training for health professionals are key strategies for engaging BSSA communities in HIV prevention programs.

          Most cited references16

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          Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods.

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            Qualitative researcher and evaluation methods

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              Parental influences on young people's sexual behaviour: a longitudinal analysis.

              Both family structure and processes have been associated with young people's sexual behaviour, but most studies are cross-sectional and focus on only one outcome: age at first intercourse. This paper uses longitudinal data from a survey of Scottish teenagers (N=5041) to show how low parental monitoring predicts early sexual activity for both sexes (with some reverse causation), and for females it also predicts more sexual partners and less condom use. A lot of spending money also predicts early sexual activity and, for males, having more sexual partners. Comfort talking with parents about sex, however, seems to bear little relationship to sexual behaviour.

                Author and article information

                Family Medicine and Community Health
                Compuscript (Ireland )
                December 2016
                December 2016
                : 4
                : 4
                : 22-29
                [1] 1Faculty of Education Health and Wellbeing, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK
                [2] 2Centre for Health and Social Care Research, Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK
                Author notes
                CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Laura Serrant, PhD, MA, BA, PGCE, Centre for Health and Social Care Research, Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, Sheffield Hallam University, Research Room F617, Robert Winston Building Collegiate Crescent, Sheffield S10 2BP, UK, E-mail: l.serrant@ 123456shu.ac.uk
                Copyright © 2016 Family Medicine and Community Health

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License (CC BY-NC 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

                : 26 August 2016
                : 14 September 2016
                Original Research

                General medicine,Medicine,Geriatric medicine,Occupational & Environmental medicine,Internal medicine,Health & Social care
                gatekeepers,HIV prevention,African communities


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