Publications by authors named "Elke Mitchell"

8 Publications

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Corrigendum to: A strengths-based analysis of social influences that enhance HIV testing among female sex workers in urban Indonesia.

Sex Health 2021 Mar;18(1):122

HIV prevalence among female sex workers in Indonesia remains high and large proportions of female sex workers have never been tested for HIV. International research highlights the importance of community-led strategies to increase HIV testing in this population. Little qualitative research has been conducted to address these issues in Indonesia or other Asia-Pacific countries. This paper documents social influences that enhance HIV testing among female sex workers in urban Indonesia. This was an interpretive qualitative study in Yogyakarta, Denpasar and Bandung. In total, 57 female sex workers participated in 11 focus group discussions, and four participated in individual semi-structured interviews. Deductive and inductive thematic analysis techniques were used to identify narratives of strengths pertaining to uptake of HIV testing. Participants described supportive relationships with peers, community-based organisations and 'bosses'. Participants reported trusted networks with peers within which to share information about HIV testing and receive emotional support. Relationships with community outreach workers facilitated HIV testing through reminders, accompanied visits, and emotional/informational support. Community-based organisations worked with health services to facilitate mobile, community-based testing to overcome employment- and family-related constraints that inhibited women's clinic attendance. 'Bosses' employed a variety of practices to encourage HIV testing among their workers. Relationships, practices and action in community- and workplace-based settings outside formal health service spaces enhanced HIV testing among female sex workers. Community- or workplace-based HIV testing with outreach support from health services, peer-led HIV testing within existing social and work-based networks, and working with bosses to implement HIV prevention strategies can address low HIV testing rates in this key population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SH20085_CODOI Listing
March 2021

A strengths-based analysis of social influences that enhance HIV testing among female sex workers in urban Indonesia.

Sex Health 2021 Mar;18(1):77-83

Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia; and Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia; and Kirby Institute, Level 6, Wallace Wurth Building, UNSW Sydney, Kensington, NSW, Australia.

Background HIV prevalence among female sex workers in Indonesia remains high and large proportions of female sex workers have never been tested for HIV. International research highlights the importance of community-led strategies to increase HIV testing in this population. Little qualitative research has been conducted to address these issues in Indonesia or other Asia-Pacific countries. This paper documents social influences that enhance HIV testing among female sex workers in urban Indonesia.

Methods: This was an interpretive qualitative study in Yogyakarta, Denpasar and Bandung. In total, 57 female sex workers participated in 11 focus group discussions, and four participated in individual semi-structured interviews. Deductive and inductive thematic analysis techniques were used to identify narratives of strengths pertaining to uptake of HIV testing.

Results: Participants described supportive relationships with peers, community-based organisations and 'bosses'. Participants reported trusted networks with peers within which to share information about HIV testing and receive emotional support. Relationships with community outreach workers facilitated HIV testing through reminders, accompanied visits, and emotional/informational support. Community-based organisations worked with health services to facilitate mobile, community-based testing to overcome employment- and family-related constraints that inhibited women's clinic attendance. 'Bosses' employed a variety of practices to encourage HIV testing among their workers.

Conclusions: Relationships, practices and action in community- and workplace-based settings outside formal health service spaces enhanced HIV testing among female sex workers. Community- or workplace-based HIV testing with outreach support from health services, peer-led HIV testing within existing social and work-based networks, and working with bosses to implement HIV prevention strategies can address low HIV testing rates in this key population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SH20085DOI Listing
March 2021

Community perspectives on scabies, impetigo and mass drug administration in Fiji: A qualitative study.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2020 12 4;14(12):e0008825. Epub 2020 Dec 4.

Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Scabies is endemic in Fiji and is a significant cause of morbidity. Little is known about the sociocultural beliefs and practices that affect the occurrence of scabies and impetigo, or community attitudes towards the strategy of mass drug administration that is emerging as a public health option for scabies and impetigo control in Fiji and other countries. Data were collected during semi-structured interviews with 33 community members in four locations in Fiji's Northern Division. Thematic analysis examined participants' lived experiences of scabies and impetigo; community knowledge and perceptions about scabies and impetigo aetiology and transmission; community-based treatment and prevention measures; and attitudes towards mass drug administration. Many indigenous Fijian (iTaukei) participants noted extensive and ongoing experience of scabies and impetigo among children in their families and communities, but only one participant of Indian descent (Indo-Fijian) identified personal childhood experience of scabies. Scabies and impetigo were perceived as diseases affecting children, impacting on school attendance and families' quality of sleep. Awareness of scabies and impetigo was considerable, but there were major misconceptions around disease causation and transmission. Traditional remedies were preferred for scabies treatment, followed by biomedicines provided by local health centres and hospitals. Treatment of close household contacts was not prioritised. Attitudes towards mass drug administration to control scabies were mostly positive, although some concerns were noted about adverse effects and hesitation to participate in the planned scabies elimination programme. Findings from this first study to document perspectives and experiences related to scabies and impetigo and their management in the Asia Pacific region illustrate that a community-centred approach to scabies and impetigo is needed for the success of control efforts in Fiji, and most likely in other affected countries. This includes community-based health promotion messaging on the social dynamics of scabies transmission, and a campaign of education and community engagement prior to mass drug administration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0008825DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7744044PMC
December 2020

A Qualitative Exploration of Family, Work, Community, and Health Service Influences on HIV Treatment Uptake and Adherence Among Female Sex Workers in Three Cities in Indonesia.

AIDS Educ Prev 2020 06;32(3):243-259

The Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, Australia.

Qualitative data were collected from 34 Indonesian female sex workers to understand their engagement with HIV treatment. Influences that enhanced treatment initiation and adherence included women's desires to stay healthy to continue working to provide for families; awareness of the biomedical benefits of treatment; support from bosses, outreach workers, and peer support groups; and flexible, nonjudgmental HIV service provision. Influences inhibiting treatment initiation and adherence included concerns about unwanted disclosure in the workplace and side effects of medication on women's capacity to earn money through sex work; geographical location of services; discrimination and confidentiality concerns in HIV care services. To improve HIV treatment initiation and adherence among Indonesian female sex workers, future responses should explore health promotion messages that engage with women's family and livelihood obligations; increased funding for community-based peer outreach workers; community-based treatment initiation and supply; and advocacy in work environments to secure support for treatment initiatives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1521/aeap.2020.32.3.243DOI Listing
June 2020

Premarital relationships and condom use among young people in Suva, Fiji.

Sex Health 2020 08;17(4):337-343

The Kirby Institute, Wallace Wurth Building, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia; and Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.

Background Young people in Fiji experience high rates of sexually transmissible infections and early pregnancy. Despite being identified as a key priority group in national strategies, little is known about use of condoms among young people in premarital relationships. This study aimed to enhance understandings of premarital sex and condom use practices among young people in Fiji.

Methods: Focus group discussions with 33 young women and men aged 18-29 years and 17 interviews with young women aged 18-26 years in an urban setting in Fiji were conducted. Inductive thematic analysis examined condom use practices.

Results: Participants described a range of contextual influences inhibiting or enabling condom use. Factors inhibiting condom use included sociocultural expectations regarding premarital abstinence; young people's engagement in hidden sexual relationships; limited intergenerational dialogue about sexual health issues; judgmental attitude of staff at condom access points; male dominance of condom use preferences; and belief condoms disrupt intimacy, reduce sexual pleasure and infer a lack of trust. Factors that enhanced condom use included accessing condoms through discreet methods; adult beliefs that supported safe sex practices; and refusing to have sex without a condom.

Conclusion: Findings broaden understandings of young people's condom use practices in Suva, Fiji. The findings illustrate the need for culturally appropriate youth-centred sexual and reproductive health (SRH) programs and services. Specific strategies that might enhance young people's condom use include community- and youth-led responses; peer condom distribution; provision of condom dispensers in community settings; scaling up of youth-friendly SRH services; and the delivery of comprehensive sexuality and relationships education.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SH20040DOI Listing
August 2020

Barriers and Enablers to HIV Care Among (Transgender Women) in Indonesia: A Qualitative Study.

AIDS Educ Prev 2019 12;31(6):538-552

The Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, Australia.

Transgender women () in Indonesia have high rates of HIV and experience barriers accessing HIV services. This qualitative research explored barriers and facilitators to HIV care among waria in Indonesia. Between 2015 and 2016, 42 participants were involved in focus group discussions and in-depth interviews across three urban sites in Indonesia to examine participants' experiences and views on HIV prevention, testing, treatment initiation, and treatment adherence. Data were analyzed thematically. Barriers to accessing HIV care services included perceptions of health and HIV treatment, confidentiality and stigma concerns, and poor access to health insurance. Facilitators to HIV care included recognition of health and perceived susceptibility, perceptions of treatment benefits and consequences of non-adherence, access to social support, and patient-friendly services. Research findings highlight the importance of improving HIV treatment literacy, safeguarding community responses to addressing HIV vulnerability, addressing confidentiality and stigma issues, ensuring services are transgender-friendly, and increasing health insurance coverage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1521/aeap.2019.31.6.538DOI Listing
December 2019

Pressure and Persuasion: Young Fijian Women's Experiences of Sexual and Reproductive Coercion in Romantic Relationships.

Violence Against Women 2020 10 30;26(12-13):1555-1573. Epub 2019 Oct 30.

The Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a violation of women's human rights and dramatically increases women's vulnerability to sexual and reproductive health morbidities. This article examines young iTaukei (Indigenous Fijian) women's experiences of, and responses to, nonphysical forms of coercion in romantic relationships. It draws on ethnographic research with young unmarried women attending university in Suva, Fiji. Young women disclosed experiencing a continuum of coercive behaviors, including verbal pressure, deception, and manipulation by male partners to initiate sexual intercourse, unprotected sex, and unsafe abortions. Findings indicate an urgent need to address IPV within premarital relationships in Fiji to promote young women's sexual and reproductive health and autonomy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1077801219882505DOI Listing
October 2020

Young women's perceptions and experiences of sexual risk in Suva, Fiji.

Cult Health Sex 2020 05 30;22(5):504-519. Epub 2019 May 30.

Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

This paper explores young iTaukei (Indigenous Fijian) women's perceptions and experiences of sexual risk. It draws on qualitative data collected in Suva, Fiji in 2011 and 2012. Participants included iTaukei female university students aged 18-29 years. We describe nine forms of sexual risk identified by young iTaukei women, and group these risks into three clusters - social risks, physical risks and intimate relational risks. We discuss how young women prioritise these risks differently depending on context, location and relationship. Findings point to a critical mismatch between current public health risk priorities and those risks identified as most important in the lives of young iTaukei women. Findings have important implications for strengthening sexual and reproductive health policy and practice in Fiji.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13691058.2019.1614669DOI Listing
May 2020