Send to

Choose Destination
Cult Health Sex. 2017 Sep;19(9):996-1010. doi: 10.1080/13691058.2017.1282045. Epub 2017 Feb 13.

A qualitative analysis of multi-level barriers to HIV testing among women in Lebanon.

Author information

a Yale School of Public Health , New Haven , USA.
b Lebanese Medical Association for Sexual Health , Beirut , Lebanon.
c Department of Psychiatry , New York University , New York , USA.
d Department of Internal Medicine , American University of Beirut , Beirut , Lebanon.


While the number of HIV cases in the Middle East and North Africa region is low compared to other regions, recent studies show that incidence is increasing especially among high-risk populations; in particular, little is known about women and HIV in the region. Through semi-structured interviews with sexual healthcare providers and staff at non-governmental organisations, we sought to understand barriers to HIV testing among women in Lebanon. Using snowball sampling, key informants were recruited from greater Beirut (12 physicians, 9 non-governmental organisation staff). Data were analysed using a grounded theory framework. Findings identified barriers to HIV testing among women at each level of an adapted social-ecological model (i.e. social-cultural barriers, policy barriers, interpersonal healthcare provider barriers and intrapersonal barriers). Primary findings include the culture of sex as taboo; lack of sexual health education among women; fear of disclosing HIV testing and diagnosis; financial barriers linked to stigmatising insurance policies; and provider attitudes towards women. Findings can be used to inform HIV-related sexual health interventions at multiple levels for women in Lebanon and the greater region.


HIV; HIV testing; Lebanon; barriers; stigma; women

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center