Objective: To determine youth preferences for Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved and investigational human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibody collection and testing methods before and after subjects learned of test result response times; to determine how influential test result response times are on participants' preferences.
Design: After health educators explained and demonstrated 6 different HIV antibody collection and testing strategies (3 saliva, 1 urine, and 2 fingerstick methods), participants completed a confidential survey about test method preference and tried the different testing methods. The participants had an opportunity to re-rank their test method preference after learning about each test's result response time.
Setting: Health education sessions in both clinical and community settings.
Participants: Youths aged 12 to 24 years.
Results: An oral collection device with a rapid saliva test was the most highly preferred test method. The preference for this method and the rapid response test methods via fingerstick procedures improved significantly after subjects learned of the rapid result response time, while the other methods were given significantly lower preference rankings after subjects learned of the longer result response times. Shifts in preference rankings were not related to sex, age, ethnic group, experience with HIV testing, or practice of risk behaviors.
Conclusions: Our research supports the use of noninvasive and rapid HIV testing methods with rapid response times for adolescents to assist in the early identification of HIV status, while offering HIV prevention opportunities and immediate linkage to care.