Senior Julia Roberts, an Elon Honors Fellow, and Kim Jones, assistant professor of anthropology, published an article about access to HIV testing in Brazil in the fall/spring 2009 issue of Southern Anthropologist, a peer-reviewed journal of the Southern Anthropological Society.
The article, titled “Expanding Access to HIV Testing in Northern Minas Gerais, Brazil,” stemmed from research completed by Roberts, Jones, and a number of scientists and medical professionals in Brazil. Continue below to read the abstract or click the link to the right to access the full article.
Expanding Access to HIV Testing in Northern Minas Gerais, Brazil
Julia Elinor Roberts, Honors Fellow, Elon University, Elon, NC; Kimberly Marie Jones, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Elon University; Luçandra Ramos Espirito Santos, Professor of Health Sciences, State University of Montes Claros, Brazil (UNIMONTES); Mauro José Guedes Roque, Pharmacist-Biochemist and Microbiology Specialist, Clemente Faria University Hospital; Marise Fagundes Silveira, Biostatistician, UNIMONTES; Amaro Sérgio Marques, Professor of Social Development, UNIMONTES
Brazil serves as a potent example of a nation striving to meet the public healthcare needs of a complex and diverse society. To evaluate how a public hospital in Montes Claros, Brazil has attempted to reconcile outcome gaps with HIV/AIDS, this study examined aspects of the demographic profiles of public health clients receiving HIV exams in the largest city in Northern Minas Gerais at two respective sites. In the past five years, HUCF (Clemente Faria University Hospital) has undergone a massive expansion, drastically increasing the services offered and improving the related hospital infrastructure. For example, an Immunology Division was added in 2007, allowing for on-site HIV testing; prior to this, government-funded HIV testing was only available at the sexual health clinic, Centro de Testagem e Aconselhamento (CTA). Age, sex, and residential neighborhood for clients tested for HIV during an eight month period in 2007-2008 at HUCF and CTA were statistically compared. In comparison to CTA, the population served by HUCF included more women, people from rural areas, and youth (ages 10-16). These populations, who face inequities in access to HIV services on the national level in Brazil, were more likely to access testing at the hospital. This case study serves as an example to other municipalities of how it may be necessary to offer public health care services at diverse sites in order to provide access to target populations.