Barcelona 2013
Barcelona 2013
Abstract book - Abstract - 596
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Conference Details
International Committee
Plenary Speakers
Presenting Speakers
Scientific Committee
Abstract #596  -  Law and Ethics
  26.4: Law and Ethics (Parallel) on Tuesday @ 11.00-13.00 in Auditorio Chaired by David Dalmau,
Vincent Douris

  Presenting Author:   Dr George Palattiyil - University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  Additional Authors:  Ms. Chen Zhang, Dr. Yan Hong, Ms. Shaobing Su , Dr. Yuejiao Zhou,  
Globalisation and political upheaval often compel people to seek asylum. The UK has been a major recipient of asylum seekers; a number of whom have been dispersed to Scotland since 2000. Many in this population are living with HIV. HIV-positive asylum seekers experience poverty, isolation, vulnerability, stigma and discrimination, and often encounter a lack of appropriate medical care and support. These circumstances can deny asylum seekers their fundamental human rights and dehumanise people who are already fleeing threatening circumstances. This paper presents findings from a recent study that examined the lived experiences of HIV-positive asylum seekers since their arrival in Scotland.
Method / Issue:
A flexible qualitative research design was adopted. Nineteen HIV-positive Black African asylum seekers (15 women and 4 men) were recruited through non-governmental organisations in Glasgow, Scotland. Each participant was interviewed. Additional data were gathered from two focus group meetings. Findings were developed using narrative analysis.
Results / Comments:
The accounts of the asylum seekers indicate that they continue to fear stigma from disclosing their HIV status. Their experiences include denial of rights to family and security, fear of being detained and deported, denial of appropriate medical care, post-traumatic symptoms and the culturally insensitive attitude of the UK Border Agency. These themes portray their struggle in a context of denial of support and risk of potential deportation to a country where HIV treatment is limited or inaccessible. Their narratives also attest to the unstinting care and support they receive from a few voluntary agencies and a specialist HIV clinic.
The findings raise issues for a critical debate about the treatment of HIV-positive asylum seekers in Scotland. Issues of stigma upon disclosure of HIV continue, and the UK Border Agency?s culturally insensitive and at times inhumane practices compound the threat. Human rights of HIV-positive asylum seekers require deeper policy attention. Realisation of their rights is vital in reducing vulnerability to HIV/AIDS.
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