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Sex Transm Dis. 1997 Jul;24(6):347-52.

Predictors of human immunodeficiency virus counseling and testing among sexually transmitted disease clinic patients.

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San Francisco Department of Public Health, Epidemiology, Disease Control, and Aids, California 94102, USA.



To determine the predictors of prior or current, and repeat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing.


Cross-sectional survey.


Sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic patients who participated in a blinded HIV seroprevalence survey completed a voluntary questionnaire regarding their reasons for accepting or declining HIV testing.


Eighty-seven percent of participants reported a previous HIV test or were HIV testing the day they completed the questionnaire. African Americans were less likely to have been HIV tested (adjusted odds ratio 0.3, 95% confidence limits, 0.1, 0.8). The most common reasons for testing were to be reassured and to receive medical care if infected. The most common reason for not testing was that nontesters did not think that they were infected. Repeated testing was reported by 51% of the participants and was more frequent among patients who were older or members of high-risk groups (P < 0.05). Patients tested repeatedly to confirm a prior HIV test result or because of continued risky behavior.


Testing for HIV is frequent among STD clinic patients but less so among African Americans. Receipt of medical care appears to be an important motivation for HIV testing, whereas lack of perceived risk may discourage testing. Continued high-risk behavior contributes to repeat HIV testing.

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