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AIDS Behav. 2016 Sep;20(9):2000-9. doi: 10.1007/s10461-016-1309-x.

Information, Motivation, and Behavioral Skills of High-Risk Young Adults to Use the HIV Self-Test.

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HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University, New York, USA.
Biomedical Informatics, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, USA.
Psychiatry, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, USA.
School of Nursing, Columbia University, 617 West 168th Street, New York, NY, 10023, USA.
School of Nursing, Columbia University, 617 West 168th Street, New York, NY, 10023, USA.


HIV self tests (HIVST) have the potential to increase testing among young adults. However, little is known about high-risk young adults' perception of the HIVST as a risk reduction tool and how they would use the HIVST in their everyday lives. Our study sought to examine these factors. Twenty-one ethnically diverse participants (ages 18-24) used the HIVST at our study site, completed surveys, and underwent an in-depth interview. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the survey responses, and interview data were coded using constructs from the information-motivation-behavioral skills model. Information deficits included: how to use the HIVST and the "window period" for sero-conversion. Motivations supporting HIVST use included: not needing to visit the clinic, fast results, easy access, and use in non-monogamous relationships. Behavioral skills discussed included: coping with a positive test, handling partner violence after a positive test, and accessing HIV services. These findings can inform the use of the HIVST for improving HIV testing rates and reducing HIV risk behavior.


HIV self tests; High-risk; IMB model; Information–motivation–behavioral skills (IMB); Prevention; Youth

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