Sunday, February 21, 2016

Information, Motivation, and Behavioral Skills of High-Risk Young Adults to Use the HIV Self-Test

HIV self tests (HIVST) have the potential to increase testing among young adults. However, little is known about high-risk young adults' perception of the HIVST as a risk reduction tool and how they would use the HIVST in their everyday lives. 

Our study sought to examine these factors. Twenty-one ethnically diverse participants (ages 18-24) used the HIVST at our study site, completed surveys, and underwent an in-depth interview. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the survey responses, and interview data were coded using constructs from the information-motivation-behavioral skills model. Information deficits included: how to use the HIVST and the "window period" for sero-conversion. 

Motivations supporting HIVST use included: 
  • not needing to visit the clinic, 
  • fast results, 
  • easy access, and 
  • use in non-monogamous relationships. 
Behavioral skills discussed included: 
  • coping with a positive test, 
  • handling partner violence after a positive test, and 
  • accessing HIV services. 
These findings can inform the use of the HIVST for improving HIV testing rates and reducing HIV risk behavior.

Purchase full article at:

  • 1HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University, New York, USA.
  • 2Biomedical Informatics, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, USA.
  • 3Psychiatry, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, USA.
  • 4School of Nursing, Columbia University, 617 West 168th Street, New York, NY, 10023, USA.
  • 5School of Nursing, Columbia University, 617 West 168th Street, New York, NY, 10023, USA. 

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