The effects of HIV Stigma on Heterosexual Africans: HIV Prevention and Pre-exposure Prophylaxis in Scotland
The aim of this study is to understand how heterosexual Africans in Scotland perceive their HIV risk, HIV prevention, and how the Scottish NHS can support Africans in Scotland with PrEP. To do so this study used qualitative research methods to conduct 3 focus groups in Edinburgh and Glasgow: 2 with HIV-negative Africans and 1 with HIV-positive Africans. The data was analyzed with a concept framework that considers how intersecting HIV stigma, experienced through intersecting social contexts (i.e. heterosexual African), can affect HIV risk and prevention perception. It also explores how anti-stigma strategies can have positive effects on perception of HIV risk and prevention. The results of the study showed that self-stigma, stigma by-association, and public stigma have the most effect on African perceptions of HIV prevention and risk in Scotland. The African community would like to see inclusive PrEP promotion in public places that is culturally appropriate to help reduce stigma and HIV prevention awareness. The participants would also like to see Africans being involved in the process of creating the PrEP promotion material and many in the study believe that PrEP could be beneficial to people in their community to empower their own sexual health choices.