Social, behavioural, and intervention research among people of Sub-Saharan African origin living with HIV in the UK and Europe: literature review and recommendations for intervention

AIDS Behav. 2008 Mar;12(2):170-94. doi: 10.1007/s10461-007-9237-4. Epub 2007 May 12.


Africans are the second largest group affected by HIV in Western Europe after men who have sex with men (MSM). This review describes and summarises the literature on social, behavioural, and intervention research among African communities affected by HIV in the UK and other European countries in order to make recommendations for future interventions. We conducted a keyword search using Embase, Medline and PsychInfo, existing reviews, 'grey literature', as well as expert working group reports. A total of 138 studies met our inclusion criteria; 31 were published in peer-reviewed journals, 107 in the grey literature. All peer-reviewed studies were observational or "descriptive," and none of them described HIV interventions with African communities. However, details of 36 interventions were obtained from the grey literature. The review explores six prominent themes in the descriptive literature: (1) HIV testing; (2) sexual lifestyles and attitudes; (3) gender; (4) use of HIV services; (5) stigma and disclosure (6) immigration status, unemployment and poverty. Although some UK and European interventions are addressing the needs of African communities affected by HIV, more resources need to be mobilised to ensure current and future interventions are targeted, sustainable, and rigorously evaluated.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / ethnology*
  • Africa South of the Sahara / epidemiology
  • Europe / ethnology
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / etiology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Preventive Health Services / economics*
  • Preventive Health Services / standards
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors*