Sigma Research

Plus One: HIV sero-discordant relationships among black African people in England (NAHIP)

Duration: September 2010 - November 2011

Plus One involved in-depth, face-to-face interviews with black African people living in England who were in relationships where one person had diagnosed HIV and the other did not (ie. HIV serodiscordant). The findings were launched in November 2011 in the form of five short reports, which are available here to download.

  1. Executive summary
  2. HIV diagnosis & disclosure
  3. Managing the relationship
  4. Sex and risk
  5. External influences

For those that would rather hear about the project than read about it there is also a interview with Adam Bourne, discussing some of the key findings.

The study sought to descibe the needs and experiences of the first two priority groups for interventions according to the national HIV prevention planning framework, The Knowledge, The Will and The Power (KWP). These priority groups are people living with diagnosed HIV and people in sexual relationships with people with diagnosed HIV. The aims and objectives of the study, as well as its content and focus, were designed in collaboration with numerous charities who work to improve the sexual health and well-being of black African people living in England. We interviewed 60 individuals who were currently in serodiscordant relationships, or who had broken up from such relationships within the last year. Interviews took place in Bradford, Bristol, Halifax, Leeds, London, Nottingham and Wakefield. Most interviews were undertaken by African people specifically recruited and trained to work on the project. Individuals were recruited with the help and support of collaborating HIV charities in these cities.

The interviews considered decision-making around disclosure of HIV status to one’s sexual partner; the impact of HIV upon the relationship; management of sexual risk; and experiences of seeking and gaining support from the charitable and statutory bodies. The data collected will be of use to any individual or organisation that works to improve the sexual health and well-being of black African people in England, and especially those working with individuals who have diagnosed HIV.

This research was funded as part of the evaluation and development programme for NAHIP which was the national HIV prevention programme for African people in England, between 2007 and 2012. NAHIP was coordinated by the African Health Policy Network and funded by the English Department of Health.

Acknowledgements: A large number of individuals and agencies worked to make this research study a success. I would like to thank all those who helped to devise the focus of the study, assisted with recruitment of participants, hosted interviews or provided feedback on earlier drafts of these reports. These are: Jeni Hirst & Ndumiso Dube (BHA Leeds Skyline); Tom Doyle & Wellington Moyo (Yorkshire MESMAC); Adrian Guta (University of Toronto); Greg Ussher & David Naylor (Metro Centre); Clement Musonda & Stephen Kataya (Rain Trust); Amdani Juma (African Institute for Social Development); Mark Santos (Positive East); Linda Mudenda (MESMAC Begin Wakefield); Juliet Reid & Anna Rosie Dumie (Centre for all Families Positive Health (CAFPH)); Nimisha Tanna (Body & Soul); Jill Turner (Brigstowe Project); Edwin Lukong & Jane Morel (Terrence Higgins Trust Midlands);Tino Lenton (The Brunswick Centre); Beatrice Osoro & Allen Anderson (Positively UK); Ford Hickson (Sigma Research); Zoe Smith (NAM); Jenny Hand (Lass Social Enterprise); Joanna Moss & Jabulani Chwaula (African Health Policy Network).

We also want to thank the dedicated team of colleagues who worked on this project, especially the peer interviewers; John Owour, Lawrence Ola, Pamela Mahaka, Annabel Madyara and Edith Ntabyera. Without their involvement we would not have obtained the detailed and insightful findings that we describe in these reports. Finally, this research would not have been possible without the willingness of sixty men and women to talk to us about sensitive and emotional aspects of their lives. We are greatly indebted to them.

Key contact: Adam Bourne