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 testing messages.
- African American
- HIV testing
- young adult
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health