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Impact of HIV knowledge and stigma on the uptake of HIV testing – Results from a community-based participatory research survey among migrants from sub-Saharan Africa in Germany.

Impact of HIV knowledge and stigma on the uptake of HIV testing – Results from a community-based participatory research survey among migrants from sub-Saharan Africa in Germany.
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Kuehne A, Koschollek C, Santos-Hövener C, Thorlie A, Müllerschön J, Mputu Tshibadi C, Mayamba P, Batemona-Abeke H, Amoah S, Wangare Greiner V, Dela Bursi T, Bremer V,


Kuehne A, Koschollek C, Santos-Hövener C, Thorlie A, Müllerschön J, Mputu Tshibadi C, Mayamba P, Batemona-Abeke H, Amoah S, Wangare Greiner V, Dela Bursi T, Bremer V, (click to view)

Kuehne A, Koschollek C, Santos-Hövener C, Thorlie A, Müllerschön J, Mputu Tshibadi C, Mayamba P, Batemona-Abeke H, Amoah S, Wangare Greiner V, Dela Bursi T, Bremer V,

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PloS one 2018 04 1113(4) e0194244 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0194244

Abstract
BACKGROUND
In 2015, 3,674 new HIV diagnoses were notified in Germany; 16% of those newly diagnosed cases originated from sub-Saharan Africa (sSA). One quarter of the newly diagnosed cases among migrants from sSA (MisSA) are notified as having acquired the HIV infection in Germany. In order to reach MisSA with HIV testing opportunities, we aimed to identify which determinants influence the uptake of HIV testing among MisSA in Germany.

METHODS
To identify those determinants, we conducted a quantitative cross-sectional survey among MisSA in Germany. The survey was designed in a participatory process that included MisSA and other stakeholders in HIV-prevention. Peer researchers recruited participants to complete standardized questionnaires on HIV knowledge and testing. We conducted multivariable analyses (MVA) to identify determinants associated with ever having attended voluntary HIV testing; and another MVA to identify determinant associated with having had the last voluntary HIV test in Germany.

RESULTS
Peer researchers recruited 2,782 participants eligible for inclusion in the MVA. Of these participants, 59.9% (1,667/2,782) previously had an HIV test. For each general statement about HIV that participants knew prior to participation in the study, the odds of having been tested increased by 19% (OR 1.19; 95%-CI: 1.11-1.27). Participants reporting that HIV is a topic that is discussed in their community had 92% higher odds of having been tested for HIV (OR 1.92; 95%-CI: 1.60-2.31). Migrants living in Germany for less than a year had the lowest odds of having had their last HIV test in Germany (OR 0.17; 95%-CI: 0.11-0.27). Additionally, MisSA 18 to 25 years (OR 0.55; 95%-CI: 0.42-0.73) and participants with varied sexual partners and inconsistent condom use (OR 0.75; 95%-CI: 0.44-0.97) had significantly lower odds of having had their last HIV test in Germany.

DISCUSSION
Through participatory research, we were able to show that knowledge about HIV and discussing HIV in communities increased the odds of having attended HIV testing among MisSA. However, recent migrants and young sexually active people are among the least reached by testing offers in Germany. Community-based interventions may present opportunities to reach such migrants and improve knowledge and increase discussion about HIV.

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