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The Management of Newly Diagnosed HIV in a Sudanese Refugee in Canada: Commentary and Review of Literature

[ Vol. 14 , Issue. 1 ]


Aven Sidhu*, Rohan Kakkar and Osamah Alenezi   Pages 61 - 65 ( 5 )


Background: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) prevalence rates in refugee camps are inconclusive in current literature, with some studies highlighting the increased risk of transmission due to poor living conditions and lower levels of education. With the increasing number of refugees from HIV endemic countries, it is important to assess the programs established to support patients upon arrival. Refugees have been reported to have a lower health literacy and face disease-related stigmatization, which must be overcome for the lifelong treatment of HIV.

Case Presentation: 31-year-old female arrived in Canada as a refugee from Sudan with her 5 children in July of 2017. She was diagnosed with HIV and severe dental carries during her initial medical evaluation and referred to our centre. A lack of social support has resulted in severe psychological stress. The first being stigmatization which has led to her not disclosing the diagnosis to anyone outside her medical care team. Her level of knowledge about HIV is consistent with literature reporting that despite HIV prevention programs in refugee camps, compliance with risk reduction behaviors, especially in females, is low. Lastly, her major concern relates to the cost of living and supporting her children.

Conclusion: Assessment of current HIV programs is necessary to recognize and resolve gaps in the system. Focusing on programs which increase both risk reduction behaviors in refugee camps and integration of refugees in a new healthcare system can facilitate an easier transition for patients and aid in the quest for global 90-90-90 targets for HIV.


AIDS, global policy, HIV Education, HIV, refugee, stigma.


Vancouver Virology Centre, Vancouver, Faculty of Science, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Vancouver Virology Centre, Vancouver

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