Psychosocial factors associated with HIV testing among Scottish gay men

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Wednesday 1st January 2003

This article describes the relationship between HIV testing and a range of psychosocial, sexual and socio-demographic variables.

This article describes the relationship between HIV testing and a range of psychosocial, sexual and socio-demographic variables. Trained research staff distributed a self-report questionnaire in the gay bars of Glasgow and Edinburgh, in May 2000. Questionnaires were completed by 803 men (a response rate of 78%). We present the results of both bivariate and multivariate analyses identifying key variables associated with never having had an HIV test. Thus we outline some psychosocial barriers to HIV testing. Multivariate analysis indicated that the most important factor associated with never having tested was fear of a positive result; this was particularly true for those men who reported higher levels of risky sexual conduct. We discuss the relevance of these findings in terms of presenting a psychosocial agenda which demands that stigma and the social exclusion of HIV positive people should be addressed before gay men are encouraged to seek HIV testing.

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