Why take an hiv test? concerns, benefits, and strategies to promote hiv testing among low-income heterosexual African American young adults

Scyatta A. Wallace, Eleanor McLellan-Lemal, Muriel J. Harris, Tiffany G. Townsend, Kim S. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)462-470
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Volume38
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • African American
  • HIV testing
  • young adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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