142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Self reported acceptance and preference for home based HIV testing among heterosexuals living in high risk areas

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 10:45 AM - 11:00 AM

William T. Robinson, PhD , School of Public Health, LSU Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA

It has been estimated that one-fifth of persons infected with HIV in the United States are unaware of their status. Unfortunately stigma surrounding HIV testing still persists for clinic or community-based testing in many populations. Recently self-administered and/or home based HIV testing (HBT) options have been approved for use in the U.S., which may hold the promise to reduce these barriers.


The current study measures acceptance and preference towards HBT in a sample of 531 heterosexuals surveyed through the New Orleans arm of the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance system during late 2013. All participants were asked an additional set of locally developed questions surrounding HBT.


Of those surveyed, 83% responded that they would take a free HBT if it was mailed to them as part of a research study or by a health department. While virtually all (99%) indicated that they would seek care based on a reactive result, 54% indicated that they would report that result back to the provider agency. Reasons for not wanting to take the test included perceptions of low HIV risk and distrust of results.  Never having been tested for HIV as well as gender, homelessness, income and neighborhood dysfunction were predictors of HBT acceptance.


Universal testing is one of the cornerstones to the “Treatment as Prevention” approach to HIV elimination. Because high rates of heterosexual acceptance of HBT were found, especially among those reporting never being tested, HBT should be considered for addition to existing community based testing programs.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Assess acceptance for home based self administered HIV testing in a high risk population. Discuss options for returning results for HIV public health surveillance and/or research purposes.

Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Community Health Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Biostatistician for the Louisiana Office of Public Health STD/HIV Program, an Associate Professor of Public Health and the co PI for the Louisiana National HIV Behavioral Surevillance Study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.