Desired elements of HIV testing services: test recipient perspectives

AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2002 Nov;16(11):537-48. doi: 10.1089/108729102761041092.


Thematic analysis of transcripts from interviews with a purposive sample of 39 voluntary human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) test recipients in Ontario (selected on the basis of HIV serostatus, risk behaviors, region of residence, gender, and testing format) was used to identify elements of HIV testing services of concern to test recipients. Colleague review was used to ensure dependability of findings, and emergent themes were compared with the existing literature on patient satisfaction. Data analysis identified a comprehensive set of 28 service elements, including components related to access and availability (convenience, physical accessibility, familiarity), structure of the service (privacy, and characteristics of the venue, session, and test provider), technical and medical aspects of the testing process (including blood-taking, file maintenance, obtaining informed consent, waiting period, and manner of result provision), and both cognitive and socioemotional aspects of the interpersonal process (including decision-making support, personalized risk information, receipt of appropriate emotional support, and service referrals). Results suggest that information on, and training in, counseling skills for both physician and nonphysician test counselors is important in the provision of quality testing services. Results also suggest that test recipients would appreciate choice in testing service options, and within the test session, individualized information, and counseling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Serodiagnosis*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Ontario
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care