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SAGE Open Med. 2018 Jun 22;6:2050312118783414. doi: 10.1177/2050312118783414. eCollection 2018.

Racial/ethnic differences in HIV testing: An application of the health services utilization model.

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Department of Sociology and Social Work, Texas Woman's University, Denton, TX, USA.
Department of Social Work and Child Advocacy, Montclair State University, NJ, USA.


This study applying the health services utilization model examined the importance of predisposing, enabling, and need variables to the social mechanisms explaining lifetime HIV testing across racial/ethnic groups. Data for the study were derived from the National Health Interview Survey (collected 2013-2014), our final sample numbering 18,574 adults. Four subsamples reflected race/ethnicity: 13,347 Whites, 2267 Blacks, 2074 Hispanics, and 886 Asians. Logistic regression established respondent odds of ever having received HIV testing. Further statistical testing evaluated race/ethnicity's potential moderating role in HIV testing. The findings generally support a role for Aday's predisposing, enabling, and need factors in explaining HIV testing. Across the four subsamples, female gender, older age, and sexual minority status consistently increased lifetime HIV testing. However, we found racial/ethnic differences in HIV testing's associations with these factors and others. Our study made a beginning in the effort to specify mechanisms leading to HIV testing-and reliable diagnosis-among four racial/ethnic groups. Understanding these mechanisms might multiply opportunities to raise testing rates for all, in turn reducing racial/ethnic disparities in HIV treatment.


HIV; health services utilization model; race/ethnicity; sexual minority

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of conflicting interests: The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

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