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AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2019 Jan;33(1):25-31. doi: 10.1089/apc.2018.0090. Epub 2018 Oct 17.

Reasons for Accepting and Declining Free HIV Testing and Counseling Among Young African American Women Living in Disadvantaged Southern Urban Communities.

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Department of Health Education and Behavior, College of Health and Human Performance, University of Florida, Gainesville. Florida.


Advancing HIV prevention and treatment among at-risk Southern communities of color requires understanding why voluntary HIV testing is accepted or declined. Reasons for testing decisions were investigated among young African American women (n = 223, mean age = 20.4 years) recruited from disadvantaged areas in a Southern US city. A free HIV test was offered following field interviews that assessed HIV risk behaviors and personal and social network characteristics; 69.1% accepted testing, and all were seronegative. After their decision, participants rated reasons for their choice, which were factor analyzed. A four-factor solution showed that test acceptance was related to (1) current sexual relationships and HIV risk concerns, (2) knowledge of HIV medical treatment benefits, (3) awareness of persons living with HIV, and (4) health protection and HIV test convenience. A three-factor solution showed that test refusal was related to (1) negative consequences of a positive test and privacy concerns, (2) low perception of HIV risk, and (3) anticipated social rejection if the test was positive. Comparisons of factor-based average item scores showed that health protection/HIV test convenience was rated as most influential in test acceptance decisions, whereas low perception of HIV risks was rated as most influential in test rejection decisions. The findings suggest that test acceptance can be promoted by offering free, convenient HIV testing as a health check in a testing context that assesses and provides feedback about participants' HIV risk levels.


African Americans; HIV testing; HIV treatment cascade; emerging adults; women

[Available on 2020-01-01]

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