Prevalence of HIV among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians: a systematic review and meta-analysis


Background Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (Aboriginal) are Australia’s first peoples. Between 2006 and 2015, HIV notifications increased among Aboriginal people; however, among non-Aboriginal people, notifications remained relatively stable. This systematic review and meta-analysis aims to examine the prevalence of HIV among Aboriginal people overall and by subgroups. METHODS: In November 2015, a search of PubMed and Web of Science, grey literature and abstracts from conferences was conducted. A study was included if it reported the number of Aboriginal people tested and those who tested positive for HIV. The following variables were extracted: gender; Aboriginal status; population group (men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, adults, youth in detention and pregnant females) and geographical location. An assessment of between study heterogeneity (I(2) test) and within study bias (selection, measurement and sample size) was also conducted. RESULTS: Seven studies were included; all were cross-sectional study designs. The overall sample size was 3772 and the prevalence of HIV was 0.1% (I(2)=38.3%, P=0.136). Five studies included convenient samples of people attending Australian Needle and Syringe Program Centres, clinics, hospitals and a youth detention centre, increasing the potential of selection bias. Four studies had a sample size, thus decreasing the ability to report pooled estimates. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of HIV among Aboriginal people in Australia is low. Community-based programs that include both prevention messages for those at risk of infection and culturally appropriate clinical management and support for Aboriginal people living with HIV are needed to prevent HIV increasing among Aboriginal people


S. Graham,C.C. O'Connor,S. Morgan,C. Chamberlain,J. Hocking




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • Men who have sex with men
    • People who use drugs
    • Indigenous communities
  • Substance Use
    • Nonmedicinal drugs


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