HIV and STBBI Testing: The Implications of Shifting Policy Environments
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The transition to an integrated approach to HIV and Sexually Transmitted and Blood-borne Infection (STBBI) prevention will impact testing services in Nova Scotia. In order to respond to the consequences of this policy-level decision, this study explored stakeholders’ perceptions of integration and its consequences. Guided by a social constructivist framework, this study included a policy literature review, and as the main data collection activity, two rounds of one-on-one semi-structured stakeholder interviews. Eight participants participated in twelve separate interviews; stakeholders represented the community, health care and policy levels from both HIV and STBBI prevention. Transcripts were analyzed using a thematic analysis methodology. Three key thematic areas were identified: Integration as promoting efficiency or creating competition, promoting integrated testing, and the need for policy-level support. Together, these three thematic areas outline stakeholders’ perceptions of integration, its consequences and potential strategies for capitalizing on opportunities or addressing challenges associated with integration.