What moves a family doctor to specialise in HIV? Interviews with Australian policy key informants

Christy E. Newman, Michael R. Kidd, John B F de Wit, Robert H. Reynolds, Peter G. Canavan, Susan C. Kippax

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The population of people living with HIV in Australia is increasing, requiring an expert primary care workforce to provide HIV clinical care into the future. Yet the numbers of family doctors or general practitioners (GPs) training as community-based HIV medication prescribers may be insufficient to replace those retiring, reducing hours or changing roles. We conducted semi-structured interviews between February and April, 2010, with 24 key informants holding senior roles in organisations that shape HIV-care policy to explore their perceptions of contemporary issues facing the HIV general practice workforce in Australia. Informed by interpretive description, our analysis explores how these key informants characterised GPs as being 'moved' by the clinical, professional and political dimensions of the role of the HIV general practice doctor. Each of these dimensions was represented as essential to the engagement of GPs in HIV as an area of special interest, although the political dimensions were often described as the most distinctive compared to other areas of general practice medicine. Our analysis explores how each of these dimensions contributes to shaping the contemporary culture of HIV medicine and suggests that such an approach could be useful for understanding how health professionals become engaged in other under-served areas of medical work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1151-1164
Number of pages14
JournalCulture, Health and Sexuality
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


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