What is AfricaNZ?

AfricaNZ is a research project that intended to provide advice to the Ministry of Health in order to develop appropriate HIV care and prevention among African communities in Aotearoa New Zealand. It is funded by the Ministry of Health and administered by the Health Research Council. The project is being undertaken jointly by Massey University and the University of Otago.

The research project was implemented in two phases. In Phase 1 we (a) engaged nationally and locally with African community leaders to guide the design of an investigation of sexual attitudes and behavior in African communities, and (b) determined the demographic characteristics of the Black African population in New Zealand, and what is known about HIV epidemiology and HIV testing in that population.

In Phase 2 we implemented the more specific design developed in Phase 1. This included a survey of knowledge, attitude, behavior and beliefs about HIV, and focus groups to gain more in-depth and contextual understandings. Based on the findings we have worked closely with the community to make recommendations regarding the prevention and management of HIV among Black Africans communities in Aotearoa New Zealand.

African community leaders' contributions

Throughout the project we also engaged closely with members of two Community Advisory Boards (CABs), representing a range of African communities and interests. The first was a general board of African community civic, academic, and religious leaders from around the country; a list of participants in this CAB is found in the acknowledgements of each of the reports from the project. The second CAB was made up of members of African communities living with HIV. They have requested that their participation remain anonymous, but their active presence has been felt throughout the project. Members of both CABs actively participated and advised on key aspects of the research project research questions, processes and findings. They also had an opportunity to review and comment on the final report findings and recommendations.

The contributions of these Advisory Boards have been invaluable, and we are deeply grateful to them.

How was the work undertaken?

The project was funded from January, 2011 through June 2013. In the first phase of the project we accessed exisiting data and health care providers to develop our estimates. A full explanation of the process and the findings can be found in the AfricaNZ Count report on this website. From September to mid-December 2012 members of African communities, both migrants and refugees, living in four major centres of New Zealand, were asked to participate in a survey and discussion groups that asked about their knowledge, attitudes and behaviours related to HIV and HIV risk. In all, 703 surveys were collected, and 131 people participated in 23 focus groups. A full explanation of the process and findings from this second phase can be found in the AfricaNZ Care report on this website.

Rationale for research

Black Africans are now the second largest ethnic group affected by HIV in New Zealand. The possibility of different behavioural patterns, influenced by their respective African cultures, traditions and values means appropriate health promotion approaches for African communities in New Zealand need to be considered and examined.

Benefits of the research to African communities

Black African peoples will actively participate in the ways that HIV care and prevention programmes are developed and delivered for Black Africans in Aotearoa New Zealand.

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