Purpose: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines recommend routine human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) screening in health care settings for all individuals aged 13-64 years; however, overall testing rates among adolescents still continue to remain low. This study examined factors related to the acceptance of HIV testing among an at-risk sample of ethnically/racially diverse community adolescents.
Methods: Adolescents aged 15-21 (N = 81) years were recruited from community-based youth organizations to complete HIV risk assessment surveys. After the completion of the survey, participants were offered a free OraQuick rapid HIV antibody test.
Results: More than half (53.1%) of the participants accepted the test, with the black population being more likely to accept testing as compared to Latinos (75% vs. 39%). After controlling for race/ethnicity, significant predictors of test acceptance included history of sexual intercourse (OR = 5.43), having only one sexual partner in the past 3 months (OR = 4.88), not always using a condom with a serious partner (OR = 3.94), and not using a condom during last sexual encounter (OR = 4.75).
Conclusion: Given that many adolescents are willing to know their HIV status, policies that support free or low-cost routine testing may lead to higher rates of case identification among youth. However, approaches must be developed to increase test acceptance among Latino adolescents and teenagers with multiple sexual partners.
Copyright © 2011 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.