University of Vermont

Office of Health Promotion Research

OHPR Abstract 53

Abstract 1990-1999

Heckman TG, Kelly JA, Roffman RA, Sikkema KJ, Perry MJ, Solomon LJ, Winett RA, Norman AD, Hoffmann RG, Stevenson LY. Psychosocial differences between recently HIV tested and non-tested gay men who reside in smaller US cities. Int J STD AIDS. 1995 Nov-Dec;6(6):436-40.

While a number of studies have examined behavioural and psychosocial correlates of HIV test seeking, most of this research has relied on samples of urban gay men. Less is known about HIV testing rates and factors associated with testing among gay and bisexual men who live in smaller cities. The present research administered surveys to 3969 non-exclusively partnered gay and bisexual men attending gay bars in small American cities to determine (a) rates of HIV test seeking, and (b) how tested and non-tested men differed on a battery of psychosocial indices. A total of 68% of men had been tested for antibodies to HIV--50% in the past year. Men tested for HIV in the past year, compared to men never tested for HIV, knew more people who were HIV positive or were diagnosed with AIDS, had a closer relationship with someone who had died of AIDS, were more likely to be ethnic minorities, reported more conversations with friends about safer sex, and had stronger intentions to use condoms during their next intercourse occasion. Our results indicate that HIV counselling and testing programmes comprise an important component of HIV prevention efforts assisting gay men residing in smaller USA cities.

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