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'HIV ended up in second place' - prioritizing social integration in the shadow of social exclusion: an interview study with migrants living with HIV in Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Global Health.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2061-323X
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Global Health.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Global Health.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7087-1467
2022 (English)In: International Journal for Equity in Health, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 21, article id 175Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Migrants are overrepresented among people living with HIV in Sweden as they often face conditions that increased their risk and vulnerability for HIV/STI infections prior, during or after migration. Yet, there is limited research on their experiences and perceptions of living with HIV in the Swedish context. This study aims to explore migrants' experiences of living with HIV in Sweden.

METHODS: This is a qualitative study based on in-depth interviews with 13 migrants from 11 countries living with HIV in Sweden. Interviews were analysed with thematic analysis using an intersectional perspective to explore the interactions of multiple social identities such as ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender, age, and sexual orientation that shape an individual's or group's experiences.

RESULTS: The analysis resulted in a main theme: 'Prioritizing social integration-HIV ends up in second place', which is based on four subthemes: 'Better opportunities in the new country than what the home country could offer', 'Better conditions for LGBTQI people than in the home country', 'Navigating a new system: linguistic and bureaucratic challenges' and 'Feeling like a second-class resident: racism, xenophobia and multiple discrimination'. The results suggest that migrants living with HIV in Sweden experience social integration as a greater challenge than HIV infection. Although the new country offers opportunities for better living conditions, many participants described being challenged in their daily life by linguistic and structural barriers in their encounters with public services. They are facing multiple discrimination simultaneously as migrants due to their multiple and intersecting identities (e.g. being non-white, foreigners/foreign-born and non-Swedish speakers), which is compounded by HIV status and thus limit their opportunities in the new country and too often result in an existence of exclusion.

CONCLUSION: The study shows that most of the challenges that migrants living with HIV face are related to their status as migrants rather than HIV status, which is often not known by the public or authorities. These challenges are similar, but still differ depending on social position, previous experiences, time since arrival and since diagnosis. This emphasizes the importance of both intersectional, intersectoral and multisectoral approaches to address reported issues.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central (BMC), 2022. Vol. 21, article id 175
Keywords [en]
Ethnicity, HIV/AIDS, Intersectionality, Intersectoral collaboration, Language barrier, LGBTQI-person, Migrant/immigrant, Multiple discrimination, Racism, Sweden, Xenophobia
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-201518DOI: 10.1186/s12939-022-01783-5ISI: 000894462400001PubMedID: 36471317Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85143409005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-201518DiVA, id: diva2:1716524
Funder
Public Health Agency of Sweden Available from: 2022-12-06 Created: 2022-12-06 Last updated: 2024-07-02Bibliographically approved

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Nkulu Kalengayi, FaustineAnne, OumaHurtig, Anna-Karin

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