Academic journal article Refuge

It Takes a Village: Perspectives from a Multidisciplinary Team Addressing the Needs of HIV+ Refugees in Canada

Academic journal article Refuge

It Takes a Village: Perspectives from a Multidisciplinary Team Addressing the Needs of HIV+ Refugees in Canada

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study explored the perspectives of a multidisciplinary team al an HIV clinic in Canada mandated with addressing the diverse needs experienced by their HIV+ refugee clients. Specifically, the study sought to identify barriers and facilitators to effective service provision for refugee persons living with HIV/AIDS (PHAs) in the context of a multidisciplinary team. Data were acquired using qualitative methods. Individual interviews were conducted with a sample ofseven serviceproviders who work directly with HIV+ refugees on a multidisciplinary team al an HIV clinic in Canada. Respondents identified a need for improved community services for HIV+ refugees, specifically legal aid and service from immigration doctors and pharmacies. Cultural and linguistic issues also shaped respondents' work with refugees; suggestions for addressing these issues included HIV-related and culturally competent training. Implications for policy, practice, and research are included.

Resume

Cette etude a explore les points de vue d'une equipe multidisciplinaire dans une clinique du VIII au Canada ayant pour mandat de repondre aux divers besoins de leurs clients seropositifs. Plus precisement, l'etude a cherche a identifier les obstacles et les possibilites a l'egard de la prestation de services efficaces pour les personnes refugiees vivant avec le VIH/sida (PVVIH) dans le cadre d'une equipe multidisciplinaire. Les donnees ont ete recueillies en utilisant des methodes qualitatives. Des entretiens individuels ont ete menes aupres d'un echantillon de sept intervenants travaillant directement avec des refugies seropositifs au sein d'une equipe multidisciplinaire dans une clinique du VIII au Canada. Les repondants ont identifie un besoin d'amelioration des services communautaires pour refugies seropositifs, en particulier de l'aide juridique et des services de medecins et de pharmacies a l'immigration. Les questions culturelles et linguistiques agissent aussi sur le travail des repondants avec les refugies; une formation culturellement competente liee au VIH figure parmi les suggestions pour traiter de ces questions. Les incidences pour la politique, la pratique et la recherche sont aussi discutees.

Introduction

Refugee (1) persons living with HIV/AIDS (PHAs) in Canada are a vulnerable population who experience multiple challenges. These challenges include navigating immigration and settlement processes, (2) in addition to dealing with an HIV diagnosis. In 2007, there were an estimated 33.2 million people worldwide with HIV; approximately 58,000 live in Canada. (3) Persons who were born in an HIV-endemic country are overrepresented in Canada's current HIV epidemic. (4) In 2007, approximately 13 per cent of newly reported HIV cases were refugees who arrived in Canada and tested positive for HIV, the largest proportion of people being born in Africa and the Middle East (59 per cent), followed by the Americas, Asia, and Europe, respectively. (5) Of the 1,050 HIV+ applicants for Canadian permanent residency in 2006 and 2007, 994 were refugees, refugee claimants, or family class members. (6)

The majority of recent research conducted in the area of refugees living with HIV in Canada has been primarily quantitative, based on statistical prevalence, sociodemographics, or HIV policy. (7) There is limited research on the experiences of professionals whose services are bound by policies, who interact daily with HIV+ refugees, and who observe first-hand refugees' resettlement challenges in Canada. (8) Multidisciplinary teams have existed within the health care field as a means to address the multiple needs of diverse communities and populations for decades in the realm of HIV care. (9) "Multidisciplinary" characterizes a team where each individual discipline brings its profession to the group while maintaining its own identity within interactions with other disciplines. (10) In many settings, this approach has been focused on utilizing multiple service providers from different disciplines in order to provide integrated services to persons with HIV, primarily in the context of co-occurring physical and mental health issues and substance abuse. …

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