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Good acceptability of HIV, HBV, and HCV screening during immigration medical check-up amongst migrants in France in the STRADA study

Abstract : Introduction: The prevalence of HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C amongst migrants in France is high. Thus, effective screening and follow-up is needed. The mandatory medical check-up for residency application is an opportunity to offer rapid HIV and hepatitis testing. The main objective of the STRADA study is to create a feasible and acceptable screening strategy for migrants. Within the STRADA study, this qualitative research examined the acceptability of conducting screening tests in the context of residency application. Methods: We conducted a qualitative study amongst legal migrants over 18 years of age with sufficient knowledge of the French, English, or Arabic language. Interviews were performed following a semi-structured interview guide of open-ended questions. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and subsequently analyzed through thematic analysis. Results: We interviewed 34 migrants. Mean age was 32.6 (min-max: 19, 59) years. The participants' region of origin was mostly Sub-Saharan Africa and the main reason for migrating to France was family reunification. Migrants' acceptability of HIV and hepatitis testing was high. Participants who accepted testing indicated a benefit for individual health and to avoid transmission. Most preferred rapid tests; reluctance was related to anxiety about the immediate results and the perceived reliability of rapid tests. Migrants' knowledge about HIV was satisfactory, but inadequate for hepatitis. Screening in the context of a compulsory medical visit did not present an obstacle for acceptability. Some expressed concern in the case of HIV but when explained, the independence between obtaining the residence permit along with screening and access to medical care was well understood. Discussion: Medical check-ups at immigration centers is an opportunity to screen for HIV and hepatitis which is considered acceptable by migrants. Informing migrants that test results do not affect residency applications, and incorporating their preferences, are all important to optimize the acceptability of screening.
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Submitted on : Thursday, July 23, 2020 - 11:51:07 AM
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Martin Duracinsky, Frédérique Thonon, Sonia Bun, Imène Ben Nasr, Aïchata Fofana Dara, et al.. Good acceptability of HIV, HBV, and HCV screening during immigration medical check-up amongst migrants in France in the STRADA study. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2020, 15 (6), pp.e0235260. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0235260⟩. ⟨inserm-02905222⟩



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