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P01.03 Encouraging aboriginal gay men to test for hiv
  1. B Mackie,
  2. M Sparks
  1. ACON

Abstract

Introduction ACON has commenced development of a campaign to encourage Aboriginal gay men and other homosexually active men to test for HIV. The campaign need was identified in response to unique health and community issues presented by Aboriginal gay men.

Methods Campaign strategic development involved a series of quantitative research projects, using in-depth interviews and small focus groups with Aboriginal gay and other homosexually active men.

Results Initial quantitative research found:

  • identity was complex and varied considerably for individuals, is dependent on context and is layered between sexual and ethnic identities;

  • considerable concerned about the confidentiality of HIV testing services and the cost testing;

  • HIV testing education programs need a sophisticated approach to targeting Aboriginal gay men and not necessarily relying on Aboriginal representation.

The final round of quantitative research found that:

  • Confidentiality was seen as the most important theme. Aboriginal gay men were highly concerned about being discrete and anonymous;

  • Cost also emerged a key barrier to testing, with a need to be assured that HIV testing would be cost free; and

  • Aboriginal gay men also rejected the notion that HIV testing education materials should necessarily be tailored. While there was an acknowledgment that there was a place for targeted prevention education materials for Aboriginal people, it was also considered that a HIV testing materials should not single out and therefore potentially alienate the Aboriginal gay men.

Conclusion Developing and delivering HIV Testing education materials to Aboriginal Gay men presents complex challenge to HIV educators. A relatively small and highly mobile community, lower health literacy and issues of shame mean HIV Testing education materials need to consider a range of different strategies, including targeting materials specifically to meet the needs identified by Aboriginal gay men.

Disclosure of interest statement The ACON is funded by the NSW Ministry of Health. No pharmaceutical grants were received in the development of this study.

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