Investigating the capacity of the general practitioner workforce to meet ongoing HIV primary care needs in Australia

HIV has become a chronic, manageable condition in the developed world, and early and lifelong treatment has the potential to significantly reduce transmission rates. A skilled and motivated clinical workforce will be required to provide expert care into the future, but concerns have been noted in a number of settings about the challenges of recruiting a new generation of clinicians to HIV medicine.

This three-year qualitative study aimed to understand why general practitioners (GPs) pursue or sustain an engagement with HIV medicine in different caseload and geographical settings across Australia, and to build new knowledge on the role of GPs in maintaining and enhancing the health of people living with HIV.

Two rounds of semi-structured interviews were conducted: the first with 24 key informants holding senior positions in government, non-government and professional/educational organisations relating to HIV care, the second with 47 clinicians experienced in providing HIV care in general practice. Ten papers were published from this research in the peer reviewed literature.

Funding Agency

NHMRC Project Grant, Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing

Partners / Collaborators

National Association of People Living with HIV Australia

Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations

Australasian Society for HIV Medicine

Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

Newman, C.E., de Wit, J.B., Reynolds, R.H., Canavan, P.G., Kidd, M.R. (2015) ‘Who’s coming up next to do this work?’ Generational tensions in accounts of providing HIV care in the community. Available online at Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine on 7 May 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1363459315583155

Newman, C.E., de Wit, J.B., Crooks, L., Reynolds, R.H., Canavan, P.G., Kidd, M.R. (2015) Challenges of providing HIV care in general practice. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 21(2): 164-168. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/PY13119

Persson, A., Newman, C .E., Hopwood, M., Kidd, M. R., Canavan, P. G., Kippax, S. C., Reynolds, R. H., & de Wit, J. B. (2013.) No ordinary mainstream illness: How HIV doctors perceive the virus. Qualitative Health Research. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1049732313514139

Hopwood, M., Newman, C., Persson, A., Watts, I., de Wit, J., Reynolds, R., Canavan, P., Kippax, S., & Kidd, M. (2013). Expert perspectives on the contribution of HIV general practice nursing to the ‘extraordinary story’ of HIV medicine in Australia. Primary Health Care Research and Development. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1463423613000108

Newman, C. E., Reynolds, R. H., Gray, R. M., Canavan, P. G., de Wit, J. B., McMurchie, M., McCoy, R., & Kidd, M. R. (2013). Surviving an epidemic: Australian GPs on caring for people with HIV and AIDS in the ‘early years’. Australian Family Physician, 42(10), 734-738. http://www.racgp.org.au/download/Documents/AFP/2013/Oct/201310newman.pdf (PDF)

Newman, C. E., Kidd, M. R., Kippax, S. C., Reynolds, R. H., Canavan, P. G., & de Wit, J. B. (2013). Engaging non-HIV specialist general practitioners with new priorities in HIV prevention and treatment: qualitative insights from those currently working in the field. Sexual Health, 10(3), 193-198. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SH12157

Newman, C .E., Persson, A., Paquette, D., & Kidd, M. R. (2013). The new cultural politics of the waiting room: Straight men, gay-friendly clinics and ‘inclusive’ HIV care. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 10(2), 87-96. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13178-013-0111-z

Newman, C. E., Persson, A., de Wit, J. B., Reynolds, R. H., Canavan, P. G., Kippax, S. C., & Kidd, M. R. (2013). At the coalface and the cutting edge: General practitioners’ accounts of the rewards of engaging with HIV medicine. BMC Family Practice, 14, 39.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2296-14-39

Newman, C. E., de Wit, J. B., Kippax, S. C., Reynolds, R. H., Canavan, P. G., Kidd, M. R. (2012). The role of the general practitioner in the Australian approach to HIV care: Interviews with ‘key informants’ from government, non-government and professional organisations. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 88(2), 132-135 [special issue on ‘Health systems for HIV treatment and care’]. https://sti.bmj.com/content/88/2/132

Newman, C. E., Kidd, M. R., de Wit, J. B., Reynolds, R. H., Canavan, P. G., & Kippax, S.C. (2011). What moves a family doctor to specialise in HIV? Interviews with Australian policy key informants. Culture, Health and Sexuality, 13(10), 1151-1164. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13691058.2011.607904

Newman, C. (2012) Workforce worries: The changing worlds of HIV medicine and the general practitioners who provide it. Academy Proceedings 1/2012: Paul Bourke Lecture 2011, Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. https://cms.assa.edu.au/.pdf/transcripts/ap12012.pdf (PDF)

Newman, C., de Wit, J., Kidd, M., Reynolds, R., Canavan, P., & Kippax, S. (October 2010). HIV and Ageing: implications for general practice. HIV Australia, 8(3): 18-19. [Invited contribution to special issue on ‘HIV and ageing’].  http://www.afao.org.au/library/hiv-australia/volume-8/number-3/Ageing-HIV-and-general-practice

A short summary of key findings was also prepared and is available here.

Related People
Organisational units