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AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2013 Jan;27(1):45-54. doi: 10.1089/apc.2012.0312. Epub 2012 Dec 21.

All black people are not alike: differences in HIV testing patterns, knowledge, and experience of stigma between U.S.-born and non-U.S.-born blacks in Massachusetts.

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  • 1Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


Non-U.S.-born black individuals comprise a significant proportion of the new diagnoses of HIV in the United States. Concurrent diagnosis (obtaining an AIDS diagnosis in close proximity to an initial diagnosis of HIV) is common in this subpopulation. Although efforts have been undertaken to increase HIV testing among African Americans, little is known about testing patterns among non-U.S.-born black people. A cross-sectional survey was self-administered by 1060 black individuals in Massachusetts (57% non-U.S.-born) to assess self-reported rates of HIV testing, risk factors, and potential barriers to testing, including stigma, knowledge, immigration status, and access to health care. Bivariate analysis comparing responses by birthplace and multivariate logistic regression assessing correlates of recent testing were completed. Non-U.S.-born individuals were less likely to report recent testing than U.S.-born (41.9% versus 55.6%, p<0.0001). Of those who recently tested, the majority did so for immigration purposes, not because of perceived risk. Stigma was significantly higher and knowledge lower among non-U.S.-born individuals. In multivariate analysis, greater length of time since immigration was a significant predictor of nontesting among non-U.S.-born (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 0.56, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.36-0.87). Poor health care access and older age were correlated to nontesting in both U.S.- and non-U.S.-born individuals. Our findings indicate that differences in HIV testing patterns exist by nativity. Efforts addressing unique factors limiting testing in non-U.S.-born black individuals are warranted.

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