Why take an HIV test? Concerns, benefits, and strategies to promote HIV testing among low-income heterosexual African American young adults
Wallace SA. McLellan-Lemal E. Harris MJ. Townsend TG. Miller KS.
Authors Full Name
Wallace, Scyatta A. McLellan-Lemal, Eleanor. Harris, Muriel J.
Townsend, Tiffany G. Miller, Kim S.
Epidemiology Branch, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention-Surveillance and
Epidemiology, National Center for HIV/STID, and TB Prevention, U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Why take an HIV test? Concerns, benefits, and strategies to promote HIV
testing among low-income heterosexual African American young adults.
Health Education & Behavior. 38(5):462-70, 2011 Oct.
A qualitative study examined perceptions of HIV testing and strategies to
enhance HIV testing among HIV-negative African American heterosexual young
adults (ages 18-25 years). Twenty-six focus groups (13 male groups, 13
female groups) were conducted in two low-income communities (urban and
rural). All sessions were audio-recorded and transcribed. Data analysis
was completed using AnSWR software. Many participants expressed that
learning one's HIV status, regardless of the result, was a benefit of
taking an HIV test because this was perceived to produce emotional relief.
Additional benefits included the avoidance of unknowingly spreading the
virus, being offered treatment access if HIV-positive, and taking time to
assess and modify risky sexual behaviors if HIV-negative. If diagnosed
HIV-positive, HIV testing concerns included the recognition of one's
mortality, the experience of social stigma, and concerns about accessing
affordable treatment. Recommended promotion strategies included the use of
HIV-positive individuals, pop culture icons, and the media to promote HIV
Journal Article. Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S..