Accepted Paper:

The 'art' of secrecy: being HIV-positive African in Denmark  

Author:

Hanne Mogensen (University of Copenhagen)

Paper short abstract:

By comparing the lives of HIV-positive Africans on antiretroviral treatment (ART) in Africa and Denmark and by tracing the paths of HIV-positive Africans who have reached Denmark, the paper explores not just African networks and HIV – but also Danish society and its health care system.

Paper long abstract:

About one third of new cases of HIV in Denmark are found among migrants and refugees from Africa South of Sahara, Ugandans being by far the largest group. In spite of the availability of effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) fear of stigma and disclosure remains as high as ever within the African communities, and much higher than what is now found in e.g. Uganda itself. In Uganda where ART is also becoming increasingly available it is bringing with it a new openness towards the disease.

By comparing the lives of Africans living with HIV and ART in Africa and Denmark and by tracing the paths of HIV positive Africans (primarily Ugandans and Zambians) who have reached Denmark, the paper will explore not just African networks and their life with HIV - but also Danish society and health care system. Why is it so difficult for Africans in Denmark to be open about their HIV status? How do they get access to treatment and what does their experience teach us about African communities and their position in Danish society?

Panel W098
Policy and practices of health care in a migrant context