Barriers to HIV Testing for Black and Ethnic Minority Communities

World AIDS Day takes place on 1 December. At axess sexual health, we've been encouraging you to #KnowYourStatus. We want to emphasise how simple and quick testing for HIV can be. However, it's important to recognise that ethnically minoritised communities may face barriers to testing. We must think about how healthcare workers can tackle these obstacles.

BHA for Equality, an organisation which tackle social and healthcare inequalities, have shared with us some thoughts on the barriers which ethnic minority groups may face in accessing testing:

1. Medical and historical trauma

Black and other minoritised communities may have a historical mistrust of healthcare systems rooted in past injustice and unethical practices.

This can lead to a reluctance to engage with healthcare services, including HIV testing.

2. Fear of legal consequences

In some cases, individuals may fear legal consequences related to their immigration status, or other legal issues if they disclose their HIV status.

3. Discrimination and bias

Patients from Black and ethnic minority communities have faced discrimination and bias by healthcare providers in the past. This creates an environment where individuals from minoritised communities feel unwelcome or uncomfortable seeking healthcare services, including HIV testing.

It's important for all of us who work in healthcare to take time to think and reflect on what we're doing daily to help destroy barriers to healthcare for all minoritised communities.

At axess, we'd like to affirm our commitment to tackling discrimination in all its forms. axess sexual health is a safe space where you will always be treated with respect and care.

Follow BHA for Equality on X/Twitter (@tha_bha) and Instagram (@bha_for_equality) to see how you can support their work tackling health and social care inequalities.

Visit to keep up-to-date with all their ongoing projects.