Adolescent preferences for human immunodeficiency virus testing methods and impact of rapid tests on receipt of results

J Adolesc Health. 2010 Feb;46(2):162-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2009.06.015. Epub 2009 Jul 30.


Purpose: Rapid human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) tests may be more acceptable to adolescents and may improve receipt of test results. We conducted a study to determine (a) adolescent preferences for different HIV testing methods (rapid oral fluid vs. rapid fingerstick vs. traditional venipuncture), (b) factors associated with choice of a rapid vs. traditional test, and (c) whether those who chose a rapid method were more likely to receive test results.

Methods: Participants (N=99, 13-22 years old, both genders) were recruited from an urban hospital-based adolescent primary care clinic, agreed to HIV testing with their choice of method, and completed a questionnaire assessing demographic characteristics and attitudes about HIV testing. Logistic regression modeling was used to determine factors associated with choice of a rapid versus traditional test.

Results: Half (50.5%) of participants chose rapid oral fluid testing, 30.3% traditional venipuncture testing, and 19.2% rapid fingerstick testing (p < .01). Factors independently associated with choice of a rapid versus traditional method included preference for an oral fluid versus blood test and perceived approval of HIV testing by one's healthcare provider. Participants who chose a rapid test were more likely to receive their test results within the follow-up period than participants who chose a traditional test (91.3% vs. 46.7%, p < .001).

Conclusions: In this study, 70% of adolescents preferred rapid to traditional HIV testing, and rapid testers were more likely to receive their results within the follow-up period. Offering rapid testing may lead to improved receipt of results among adolescents in urban primary care settings.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Serodiagnosis / methods*
  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior* / psychology
  • Choice Behavior
  • Female
  • HIV Antibodies / analysis*
  • HIV Antibodies / blood
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Saliva / virology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult


  • HIV Antibodies
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic