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J Adolesc Health. 2007 Dec;41(6):586-93. Epub 2007 Sep 14.

HIV testing among at-risk adolescents and young adults: a prospective analysis of a community sample.

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  • 1Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02903, USA.



Little is known about predictors of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing among sexually active adolescents, who account for a large proportion of new HIV infections. This study sought to determine predictors of HIV testing among a large community-based sample of adolescents in three cities who had recent unprotected sexual intercourse.


Sexually active adolescents (N = 1222) completed baseline and 3-month assessments of sexual behavior, substance use and HIV testing behaviors as part of a larger, multi-site, brief HIV prevention program.


Approximately half of the adolescents reported having previously been tested for HIV, and of those one third were tested in the next 3 months without a specific intervention. Adolescents who received HIV testing were more likely at baseline to have ever been tested, to have a STI diagnosis, to have not used substances during sex and to have been assertive about condom use with a partner.


Health care models encouraging more widespread, universal testing may be an important public health initiative to curb the spread of HIV. Regular HIV screenings provide an opportunity to enhance awareness of behavioral risk and HIV status, as well as provide opportunities for early detection and care.

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