Document Detail

Interpersonal issues surrounding HIV counseling and testing, and the phenomenon of "testing by proxy".
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16537287     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
This multimethod study explored challenges faced by women in close heterosexual relationships who decided to test for HIV, and their experiences with instituting safer sexual practices and partner testing. Eighty-one women who sought HIV counseling and testing and had a regular male sexual partner were interviewed on five occasions, and 18 of these women and 15 men later took part in one of four focus groups (women only, men only, or couples). Findings identified difficulty understanding the unpredictability of HIV transmission, gender differences in how partners interpret their susceptibility to HIV, and male resistance to safer sex and testing. We also identified a pervasive phenomenon of "testing by proxy"--the belief that if one partner tests negative for HIV after having unprotected intercourse, the untested partner's serostatus is deemed to be negative. This dangerous practice must be addressed in public health prevention efforts. Programs aiming to reduce heterosexual HIV risk for women must include their male partners and incorporate effective interpersonal communication skills.
Allison C Morrill; Carey Noland
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of health communication     Volume:  11     ISSN:  1081-0730     ISO Abbreviation:  J Health Commun     Publication Date:  2006 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-03-15     Completed Date:  2006-05-02     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9604100     Medline TA:  J Health Commun     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  183-98     Citation Subset:  T    
Capacities, Watertown, Massachusetts, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Focus Groups
HIV Infections / diagnosis*
Interpersonal Relations*
Interviews as Topic
Middle Aged
United States
Grant Support

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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