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Swedish HIV caregivers' experiences of providing care to HIV-positive migrants - a qualitative study

Journal article
Authors Manijeh Mehdiyar
Rune Andersson
Katarina Hjelm
Published in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research
Volume 9
Issue 2
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Medicine
Language en
Keywords HIV; Caregivers; Migrants; Work experience; Focusgroup
Subject categories Health Sciences


Background: HIV has become a chronic disease, due to the result of advances in HIV treatment in the past two decades. However, the processes shaped by socio-economic factors have been proven to be the main cause of vulnerabilities related to HIV among migrants globally. In spite of the development of effective HIV treatment in the past two decades, there are still many obstacles to delivering the care to different socio-economic and ethnic groups, such as late HIV testing. More knowledge of HIV care providers’ experiences is needed in order to support them in their work and create optimal health care for HIV-positive migrants. Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of HIV caregivers in providing care to HIV-positive migrants. Methods: A qualitative exploratory design with focus-group interviews for data collection was chosen. The participants were recruited from three infectious disease clinics in Sweden. Five focus-group interviews were conducted. Each focus group comprised three to five nurses and social workers. Results: The study revealed that the HIV caregivers experienced that their patients suffered from stigma, selfstigma and social marginalisation, which in turn required more resources and support from them. The socio-economic vulnerability of the migrant patients necessitates particular social support from caregivers to these patients, depending on different migration processes that characterise the patients’ lives. Further, we found that the contact-tracing the social workers had to perform according to Swedish law could be contradictory to the supportive therapy of the patients. Conclusion: Our study showed that the stigma and social vulnerability of HIV-positive migrants in different respects call for extra support from the caregivers in order to respond to the needs of HIV-positive migrants through targeted interventions. More resources are needed within the different fields of social support, in order to provide optimal care and support to HIV-positive migrants.

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