Discordance of voluntary HIV testing with HIV sexual risk-taking and self-perceived HIV infection risk among social media-using black, Hispanic, and white young-men-who-have-sex-with-men (YMSM)
Department of Quantitative Health Sciences; Center for Health Policy and Research, Commonwealth Medicine
Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Immune System Diseases | Social Media | Virus Diseases | Viruses
Discordance between self-perceived HIV risk and actual risk-taking may impede efforts to promote HIV testing among young adult men-who-have-sex-with-men (YMSM) in the United States (US). Understanding the extent of, and reasons for, the discordance of HIV risk self-perception, HIV risk-taking and voluntary HIV testing among black, Hispanic and white YMSM could aid in the development of interventions to increase HIV testing among this higher HIV risk population. HIV-uninfected 18-24-year-old black, Hispanic, and white YMSM were recruited from across the US through multiple social media websites. Participants were queried about their voluntary HIV testing history, perception of currently having an undiagnosed HIV infection, and condomless anal intercourse (CAI) history. We assessed the association between previous CAI and self-perceived possibility of currently having an HIV infection by HIV testing status using Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel testing. Of 2275 black, Hispanic and white social media-using 18-24 year-old YMSM, 21% had never been tested for HIV voluntarily, 87% ever had CAI with another man, 77% believed that it was perhaps possible (as opposed to not possible at all) they currently could have an undiagnosed HIV infection, and 3% who reported CAI with casual or exchange partners, but had not been tested for HIV, self-perceived having no possibility of being HIV infected. Of 471 YMSM who had not been HIV tested, 57% reported CAI with casual or exchange partners, yet self-perceived having no possibility of being HIV infected. Per the Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel test results, among those reporting HIV risk behaviors, the self-perception of possibly being HIV-infected was not greater among those who had never been tested for HIV, as compared to those who had been tested. Future interventions should emphasize promoting self-realization of HIV risk and translating that into seeking and accepting voluntary HIV testing among this higher HIV risk population.
HIV Testing, YMSM, self-Perceived risk, sexual risk, social media
DOI of Published Version
AIDS Care. 2018 Jan;30(1):81-85. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2017.1381327. Epub 2017 Sep 29. Link to article on publisher's site
Alexovitz KA, Merchant RC, Clark MA, Liu T, Rosenberger JG, Bauermeister J, Mayer KH. (2018). Discordance of voluntary HIV testing with HIV sexual risk-taking and self-perceived HIV infection risk among social media-using black, Hispanic, and white young-men-who-have-sex-with-men (YMSM). University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications. https://doi.org/10.1080/09540121.2017.1381327. Retrieved from https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/faculty_pubs/1380