American Adults' Knowledge of HIV Testing Availability

Valdiserri, Ronald O.; Holtgrave, David R.; Brackbill, Robert M.
April 1993
American Journal of Public Health;Apr93, Vol. 83 Issue 4, p525
Academic Journal
Objectives. Understanding client needs, knowledge, and preferences about services is necessary to ensure that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) counseling and testing programs are accessible. This study addressed knowledge of HIV testing availability. Methods. To study American adults' knowledge of HIV testing availability, we collected data during 1990 by random digit-dialing telephone surveys of adults residing in 44 states and the District of Columbia. Results. Of the 81 557 persons who responded, almost two thirds identified medical doctors as a source of HIV testing. Fourteen percent identified public sites, and 12% said they didn't know where to go for HIV testing. Persons who were older, less educated, and had lower incomes were less likely to know where they could go for testing. Persons identifying public sites shared some characteristics with others who lacked adequate health care coverage. Conclusions. Physicians will be increasingly called upon to provide HIV counseling and testing to their patients. This may require additional training to provide effective, individualized, risk-reduction messages about sexual and drug use behaviors. Even when persons have adequate information about availability, sociodemographic characteristics are likely to influence preferences for HIV counseling and testing.


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