Predictors of HIV antibody testing among gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth

Elsevier, Journal of Adolescent Health, Volume 26, Issue 4, April 2000, Pages 252-257.
Authors: 
Shira Maguen, Lisa Armistead and Seth Kalichman

Purpose: To identify factors related to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibody testing among gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth.

Methods: Self-reported demographics, risk behaviors, variables related to the Health Belief Model, and HIV testing data were collected at a conference for gay youth, as well as at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center in a Southeastern metropolitan area (n = 117).

Results: About one third of participating youth who reported engaging in anal and vaginal sex had done so without a condom. In addition, one in four youth reported at least one other HIV risk factor. Of youth engaging in sexual risk behaviors, one third had not been tested for HIV antibodies. Furthermore, 61% of the youth reported some type of drug use, and only 57% of those using drugs had been tested. To determine factors associated with HIV testing, a hierarchical logistic regression was conducted. A binary variable of HIV testing was regressed first on demographic variables, second on risk factors, and third on variables derived from the Health Belief Model. Results of the logistic regression revealed that unprotected anal sex and the Health Belief Model variables predicted having been tested for HIV. The final model explained 42% of the variance in HIV testing.

Conclusions: Gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth are at high risk for HIV infection and are often untested for HIV antibodies.