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Sex Transm Dis. 2016 Sep;43(9):587-93. doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000484.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus Testing Practices and Interest in Self-Testing Options Among Young, Black Men Who Have Sex With Men in North Carolina.

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From the *Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, and †Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.



Young, black men who have sex with men (YBMSM) experience disproportionately high human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) incidence in the United States. Relative to other at-risk populations, less is known about their HIV testing behaviors and preferences regarding self-testing.


We used an online survey to investigate testing practices and interest in self-testing among HIV-uninfected, 18- to 30-year-old YBMSM in North Carolina.


From July 2014 to March 2015, 212 completed the survey; median age was 24 years. Among 175 (83%) who had ever been tested, 160 (91%) reported testing in the prior year, 124 (71%) tested at least every 6 months, and 71 (40%) tested at least quarterly. About three quarters (77%; n = 164) were aware of HIV self-testing; 35 (17%) had ever purchased rapid (n = 27) or dried blood spot-based (n = 14) kits. Participants aware of kits had greater intention to test in the next 6 months, were more likely to have income for basic necessities and to ask sex partners about HIV status, and were less likely to have a main sex partner or to have had transactional sex. Among 142 participants at least somewhat likely to self-test in the future, convenience (35%), privacy (23%), and rapid result delivery (18%) were the principal motivators.


Eight of every 10 YBMSM have ever been tested for HIV, but intertest intervals remain unacceptably long for many. Awareness of and interest in self-testing is substantial, but few have used this method. Expanded use of self-tests could help increase the frequency of HIV testing in this epidemiologically important population.

[Available on 2017-03-01]
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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