METHODOLOGY: Cord blood samples from a pilot screening programme for congenital hypothyroidism in 1995 at Ipoh city and surrounding district hospitals were screened anonymously for HIV 1 and 2. HIV status was determined using chemiluminescent technology. Positive samples were retested using the Genelavia Mixt assay.
RESULTS: A total of 4927 samples were tested. The ethnic breakdown included 51.7% Malays, 18.9% Chinese, 14.3% Indian, 2.3% Others and 12.9% unknown. The geographical distribution of samples was 73.9% urban, 24.2% rural and 1.9% unknown. The seroprevalence of HIV positivity was 3.25 per 1000 deliveries (95% CI: 1.92-5.16). Seroprevalence was higher for samples from rural and Malay mothers.
CONCLUSION: The high seroprevalence in this study suggests that the spread of HIV is far wider than that anticipated by mandatory national reporting. It also supports antenatal screening and the use of antiretroviral therapy as an important strategy to reduce perinatal transmission.
AIMS: This research project aims to identify attitudes towards cancer and associated information and communication needs of Chinese patients and their relatives in Sydney, thereby providing a framework for the provision of culturally appropriate cancer care for Chinese-Australians.
METHODS: A qualitative data collection strategy was selected as the most appropriate method, because no validated measures are available and no previous research has examined attitudes and needs of Chinese-Australian cancer patients. Patients were recruited from three major teaching hospitals in Sydney and from a Chinese cancer support organisation. Sampling was discontinued when informational redundancy was achieved. Four focus groups and 26 individual telephone interviews were conducted with a total of 36 cancer patients and 12 relatives born in China, Singapore and Malaysia.
RESULTS: While individual differences were observed, a majority view was expressed on a range of issues. Non-disclosure of a poor prognosis was favoured, and the role of the family in liaising between health professionals and the patient was emphasised. Patients preferred a confident and clear diagnosis and treatment recommendation. Most patients wished to incorporate Chinese culture-specific treatments into their care. The need for interpreters and psychological and spiritual support was emphasised.
CONCLUSIONS: Providing information in a culturally sensitive manner will assist doctors in providing optimum care and support for ethnic minority groups in this country.