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

AUSTRALIA: HIV Testing, Gay Community Involvement and Internet USE: Social and Behavioral Correlates of HIV Testing Among Australian Men Who Have Sex with Men


AIDS and Behavior Vol. 16; No. 1: P. 13-22 (01..12) - Tuesday,

Among MSM in Australia, "a significant minority" have never undergone HIV testing, while many others do not test as often as recommended. The researchers used data from 1,770 HIV- negative and untested MSM collected in a national online survey to compare men who had never tested for HIV with those who tested more than 12 months ago, and men who had tested more than 12 months ago with those who had tested in the past year. Two multivariate logistic regression models were constructed.

Compared with men who tested more than 12 months ago, the results showed the untested men were younger; less educated; less likely to have unprotected anal intercourse with a regular male partner; and less likely to have sought the advice of a doctor, nurse or community organization. They also were more likely to expect HIV-negative disclosure, and they had fewer gay friends and spent more time on social networking websites.

Compared with men who had tested more than 12 months ago, the men who had tested in the past year were younger; more likely to expect HIV-negative disclosure and to disclose to casual partners; more likely to have sought the advice of a doctor or nurse; and had attended gay beaches, gyms or pools. They also had more gay friends and more male sex partners.

"Our findings suggest that the Internet and sex education in schools are important ways to promote HIV testing to untested MSM," the authors concluded. "Testing reinforcement messages delivered through gay community outreach and primary care will reach previously tested MSM."


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