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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

UNITED STATES: Acceptability and Feasibility of Rapid HIV Testing in an Adolescent Clinic Setting: Youth Testing Attitudes, Knowledge and Behaviors


Journal of Adolescent Health Vol. 49; No. 6: P. 609-614

The researchers undertook the current study to assess attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors regarding rapid HIV testing (RHT) among young people and to measure acceptability and feasibility of this testing in an adolescent clinic setting.

A 2007-08 project introduced free RHT at an urban, hospital- based clinic for adolescents and young adults in Boston. Patients and HIV testing clients were offered either free nonrapid tests or fingerstick RHT. A total of 127 youth completed an anonymous survey to assess their testing attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors. To determine associations with youth demographic characteristics and testing experience, an ordinal logistic regression model was used.

"Most participants valued rapid results. A minority desired confidentiality from parents and insurance providers," the authors wrote. Older participants were more likely to know about testing methods (odds ratio: 1.25; CI: 1.04-1.51) and to plan for follow-up (OR: 1.43; CI: 1.14-1.81).

"Age, gender, and race were unrelated to testing facilitators such as rapidity, confidentiality, and cost, although younger clients were more likely to prefer noninvasive methods. Individuals with previous testing experience were more likely to say that they would contribute to expenses and value rapidity over cost," the authors reported. "There was strong support for RHT among youth receiving HIV testing. Offering RHT to youth may facilitate routine testing. Future research should focus on increasing RHT access among diverse populations of youth."


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Information in this article was accurate in February 1, 2012. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.