A study of HIV positive undocumented African migrants’ access to health services in the UK

James Whyte IV, Maria D. Whyte, Sabrina Dickey


Newly immigrated persons, whatever their origin, tend to fall in the lower socioeconomic levels.  In fact, failure of an asylum application renders one destitute in a large proportion of cases, often resulting in a profound lack of access to basic necessities. With over a third of HIV positive failed asylum seekers reporting no income, and the remainder reporting highly limited resources, poverty is a reality for the vast majority. The purpose of the study was to determine the basic social processes that guide HIV positive undocumented migrant’s efforts to gain health services in the UK. The study used the Grounded Theory Approach. Theoretical saturation occurred after 16 participants were included in the study. The data included reflections of the prominent factors related to the establishment of a safe and productive life and the ability of individuals to remain within the UK. The data reflected heavily upon the ability of migrants to enter the medical care system during their asylum period, and on an emerging pattern of service denial after loss on immigration appeal, which often resulted in a discontinuation of medical therapies. This inevitably was associated with a pattern of decline and inability to fundamental needs. The findings of this study are notable in that they have demonstrated sequence of events along a timeline related to the interaction between the asylum process and access to health related services. The results reflect that African migrants maintain a degree of formal access to health services during the period that they possess legal access to services and informal access after the failure of their asylum claim.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v9n1p122

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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