Barriers and Facilitators to HIV Testing in Migrants in High-Income Countries: A Systematic Review

AIDS Behav. 2015 Nov;19(11):2012-24. doi: 10.1007/s10461-015-1095-x.


Migrants, particularly from low- and middle-income countries, are at a heightened risk of adverse HIV outcomes. HIV testing may improve these outcomes. We reviewed and synthesised studies into migrants and HIV testing (outcome variable), published between January 1997 and April 2014. Papers using quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods designs, and samples with adult (≥18 years) migrants from low- and middle-income countries in high-income countries were included in the paper. Of 3155 papers retrieved, 31 met the inclusion criteria and are included in the review. A large number of barriers and facilitators to HIV testing were identified across the individual, social and structural levels. A number of study design and methodological issues, however, inhibited a comprehensive synthesis. There is no doubt that addressing HIV testing in migrants in high-income countries is complex; however, it has important implications for individual, community and population health, and a strong, empirically based response is warranted.

Keywords: HIV testing; HIV/AIDS; High-income countries; Low- and middle-income countries; Migrants; Prevention; VCT.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Counseling
  • Delayed Diagnosis
  • Developed Countries*
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections / ethnology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Transients and Migrants*