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Health Promot Pract. 2014 Mar;15(2):173-80. doi: 10.1177/1524839913499347. Epub 2013 Aug 21.

HIV testing sites' communication about adolescent confidentiality: potential barriers and facilitators to testing.

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  • 11Yeshiva University, New York, NY, USA.



This study sought to evaluate HIV testing locations in New York City in terms of staff communication of confidentiality policies for adolescent clients.


Using the New York State Directory of HIV Counseling and Testing Resources as a sampling frame, this study made telephone contact with 164 public HIV testing locations in New York City and used a semistructured interview to ask questions about confidentiality, parental permission, and parent access to test results.


At 48% of locations, either HIV testing was not offered or we were unable to reach a staff member to ask questions about testing options and confidentiality. At the remaining sites, information provided regarding confidentiality, parental consent, and privacy of test results was correct only 69% to 85% of the time. Additionally, 23% of sites successfully contacted offered testing exclusively between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. weekdays, when most adolescents are in school.


Our findings point to a need for increased training and quality control at the clinical level to ensure that consumers in need of HIV testing are provided with accurate information and accessible services. Furthermore, these results highlight the need for more "patient-centric" sites with enhanced accessibility for potential clients, particularly youth.


HIV/AIDS; access to health care; child/adolescent health; community organization; consumer health; health disparities; health promotion; public health laws/policies

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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