Knowing is not enough: a qualitative report on HIV testing among heterosexual African-American men
Published Date:Oct 08 2014
Source:AIDS Care. 2014; 27(2):182-188.
Corporate Authors:for the Straight Talk Study Team
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
New York City
Pubmed Central ID:PMC4353668
Funding:1-UR6/PS-000667-01/PS/NCHHSTP CDC HHS/United States
T32 DA007233/DA/NIDA NIH HHS/United States
Description:Despite having higher rates of HIV testing than all other racial groups, African-Americans continue to be disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic in the United States. Knowing one's status is the key step to maintaining behavioral changes that could stop the spread of the virus, yet little is known about the individual- and socio-structural-level barriers associated with HIV testing and communication among heterosexual African-American men. To address this and inform the development of an HIV prevention behavioral intervention for heterosexual African-American men, we conducted computerized, structured interviews with 61 men, focus group interviews with 25 men in 5 different groups, and in-depth qualitative interviews with 30 men living in high HIV prevalence neighborhoods in New York City. Results revealed that HIV testing was frequent among the participants. Even with high rates of testing, the men in the study had low levels of HIV knowledge; perceived little risk of HIV; and misused HIV testing as a prevention method. Factors affecting HIV testing, included stigma, relationship dynamics and communication, and societal influences, suggesting that fear, low perception of risk, and HIV stigma may be the biggest barriers to HIV testing. These results also suggest that interventions directed toward African-American heterosexual men must address the use of "testing as prevention" as well as correct misunderstandings of the window period and the meaning of HIV test results, and interventions should focus on communicating about HIV.
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