As for other affected populations, trust is important to people’s engagement in health care. Refugees and asylum seekers may mistrust health professionals who, in their country of origin, in some cases have been involved in the administration of torture or may use instruments that remind people of traumatic experiences. Some have been subjected to sexual assault (which may also have been their source of HIV infection) and may be reluctant to undergo sexual health checks or examination. Awareness of and sensitivity towards these matters is vital. Confidentiality is important as often members of this affected group will not wish to disclose their HIV status within their community. Women with HIV can be extremely marginalised in this group.
Useful guides to working with asylum seekers and refugees are available at: