Correlates of Perceived HIV Prevalence and Associations with HIV Testing Behavior among MSM in the United States

Darcy White, Emory University
Rob Stephenson, Emory University

As rates of HIV continue to rise among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States, a focus of current efforts to curb transmission is encouraging frequent HIV testing. Although levels of lifetime testing are high, low levels of routine testing are concerning. Using data from an online sample of 768 MSM, this paper explores how perceptions of HIV prevalence may influence HIV testing behavior. Ordinal logistic regression models were constructed to examine correlates of perceived prevalence and binary logistic regression models were fitted to assess associations between perceived prevalence and HIV testing. The results indicate that perceptions of higher prevalence, particularly among more proximal reference groups such as friends and partners, are associated with greater odds of testing. Perceptions of HIV prevalence were non-uniform across the sample; these variations point to groups to target with strategic messaging and interventions to increase HIV testing among MSM.

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Presented in Session 163: HIV-AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases