Background/introduction Recent studies from Sub-Saharan Africa, most especially Southern Africa, reveal a shocking trend in HIV transmission with married couples recording the biggest percentage of new infections per annum. Hence the mode of transmission as far as HIV is concerned has been evolving and the previously so called ‘low risk’ unions are no longer as safe as previously thought, most especially for women. UK literature shows that the trend of HIV in Black-African population mirrors that in Africa. Making of culturally sensitive and therefore effective policies and interventions for this particular group calls for a good in-depth understanding and insight into experiences and strategies that persists and those that newly emerge for married African-born women when they immigrate into UK.
Aim(s)/objectives The aim of this study was to explore experiences and strategies of married African-born women who are living in the United Kingdom in prevention of HIV.
Methods Eighteen in-depth Interviews were conducted with married African-born women who were aged between 25 to 55 years old in three Scottish cities: Aberdeen; Edinburgh; and, Glasgow.
Results Women’s reports suggest a false sense of security amongst married women in regard to HIV prevention. Contrary to the daily exposure to the lived realities of HIV in Africa, HIV is rarely mentioned in media or discussed by health professionals. Condom use and asking husbands to get HIV tested was deemed unnecessary and therefore often neglected.
Discussion/conclusion Policies and interventions for HIV prevention amongst married African-born women should transcend multiple levels: individual-level; couple-level; and, structural-level.