27.9.2022

A Survey about hiv and other STIs for migrant women: the results

Two persons hugging and smiling.

In May-June 2022, Hivpoint carried out a survey aimed at migrant women. The purpose of the survey was to identify the needs related to the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The level of the received sexual health education and the knowledge related to HIV and other STIs have a significant impact on the opportunities of taking care of person´s own sexual health. The results of the survey will be used to develop Hivpoint’s services for migrant women. 

The survey received 79 responses and the largest age group of respondents was 30-39 years old. Less than half of the respondents had ever been tested for HIV or other STIs: 44% replied that they had never been tested for HIV and 43% said they had never been tested for other STIs. 

There are written pictures of smiling people and the text "The survey received 79 responses and the largest age group of respondents was 30-39 years old".
The survey received 79 responses.

In the survey, there were factual claims. The respondent could choose a respond to his or her understanding of the statement. The answer options were: I already knew this/I wasn’t sure about this/I didn’t know this yet/I don’t understand this/I don’t believe this 

HIV cannot be transmitted from a person who is on effective HIV medication – only 21 percent of respondents knew the claim before! 

The survey revealed only 21 percent of respondents knew the fact that HIV cannot be transmitted from a person who is on effective HIV medication. 31 percent of respondents did not know that and 37 percent of respondents were not sure about this statement.  Eight percent of respondents did not believe this factual claim. 

The picture tells what percentages of respondents knew the fact that HIV cannot be transmitted from a person who is on effective HIV medication. 21 percent knew this, 31 percent did not know this, 37 percent were not sure about this and 8 percent did not believe this.
21 % of respondents knew HIV cannot be transmitted from a person who is on effective HIV medication.

When asked about the transmission of HIV from mother to child, the respondents’ level of knowledge was pretty much the same: 35 percent of the respondents knew that HIV can´t be transmitted from the mother to a child during pregnancy or childbirth when the mother is on effective HIV medication. 19 percent of respondents did not know this and 36 percent of respondents were not sure about this. 

It was gratifying that 85 percent of the respondents knew that it’s not possible to know if someone has HIV by looking at them. Just as many of the respondents knew that a condom protects against HIV and other STIs. On the other hand, 58 percent of the respondents knew that there is an effective medication for HIV that keeps a person living with HIV healthy.   

Testing according to what kind of sex you have had – this is not yet well known! 

51 percent of respondents were unaware that chlamydia and gonorrhea are tested differently according to what kind of sex you have had: from urine, and/or with a swab sample from anus and/or throat. 30 percent of respondents  were not sure about this. Knowing how to test correctly STIs is very important in order to be able to take care of your own sexual health the best possible way. 

On the other hand,  68 percent of respondents knew that HIV and other STIs can be asymptomatic. 

HIV and STI testing should be anonymous and without an appointment 

We asked what aspects are important to the respondent when thinking about getting tested for HIV and other STIs. As an important factor, it emerged that it is possible to discuss about sexual health with a professional during testing. It was also pointed out that it is possible to use the language of your choice during the testing. Also important aspects were that testing is possible without an appointment and it´s anonymous. 

Hivpoint’s testing services respond to migrant womens’ needs in Helsinki 

Hivpoint’s Checkpoint rapid HIV testing service is open on Mondays from 12am to 4 pm and on Thursdays from 2 pm to 6 pm at Hermannin rantatie 2 B, Helsinki.   Testing is anonymous and free of charge.  It is possible to discuss themes related to sexual health with a professional during the testing. The staff of Hivpoint’s testing services have years of experience in sensitive sexual health work and are trained sexual counselors. The testing services are provided in Finnish and English, and in addition, free telephone interpretation in different languages is available to the customer.  The rapid HIV test is done by taking a small drop of blood from the fingertip. The result will be available in 60 seconds. 

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