Underutilization of HIV Testing Among Men with Incarceration Histories

AIDS Behav. 2019 Apr;23(4):883-892. doi: 10.1007/s10461-018-02381-9.


Annual HIV testing is recommended for individuals at high risk of infection, specifically incarcerated populations. Incarcerated men carry a higher lifetime risk of acquiring HIV than the general population, yet little is known about their HIV testing behaviors. We collected Audio Computer Assisted Self Interview data for 819 men entering a state prison in North Carolina. We assessed correlates of previous HIV testing, including stigmatizing attitudes and beliefs, and explored two outcomes: (1) ever HIV tested before current incarceration, and (2) recency of last HIV test. Eighty percent had been HIV tested before; of those, 36% reported testing within the last year. Being African American, having education beyond high school, prior incarceration, and higher HIV knowledge increased odds of ever having tested. Results of this study highlight the need to expand HIV testing and education specific to incarcerated populations. Additionally, efforts should be made to monitor and encourage repeat screening.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS; Incarcerated population; Prevention; Testing; Utilization.

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Serodiagnosis / methods
  • AIDS Serodiagnosis / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Services Misuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • North Carolina / epidemiology
  • Prisoners / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prisons*
  • Risk-Taking
  • Serologic Tests
  • Stereotyping*
  • Young Adult