August 4, 2011
The correlates of the main reasons for not HIV testing, HIV testing intentions, and the potential use of an over-the-counter rapid HIV test (OTCRT) among men who have sex with men who have never tested for HIV (NTMSM) are unknown, the authors wrote. They evaluated these correlates among 946 NTMSM in six U.S. cities who took part in an Internet-based survey in 2007.
The chief reasons given for not testing were perceived low risk (32.2 percent of respondents), structural barriers (25.1 percent), and fear of testing positive (18.1 percent). Perceiving one's risk as low was associated with having fewer unprotected anal intercourse partners and less use of the Internet for HIV information. Structural barriers were associated with younger age and more UAI partners. Fear of testing positive was associated with black and Hispanic race/ethnicity, higher number of UAI partners, and more frequent use of the Internet for HIV information.
Strong testing intentions were held by 25.9 percent of all the men and by 14.8 percent of those who perceived their risk as low. Likely use of an OTCRT, if one were available, was reported by 47.4 percent of those who were somewhat unlikely to test, 76.5 percent of those who were somewhat likely to test, and 85.6 percent of those who were very likely to test.
"Among NTMSM who use the Internet, main reasons for not testing for HIV vary considerably by age, race/ethnicity, UAI, and use of the Internet for HIV information," the authors concluded. "To facilitate HIV testing of NTMSM, programs should expand interventions and services tailored to address this variation. If approved, OTCRT might be used by many NTMSM who might not otherwise test for HIV."