Medical News

Partner Communication, Commitment Influenced HIV Testing in Adolescents

November 27, 2013

This article was reported by Healio.

An article in Healio reported that inner-city adolescents in committed relationships with strong partner communication about HIV were more inclined to get tested for the virus. Researchers, including Hina J. Talib, M.D., adolescent medicine physician at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore and assistant professor of pediatrics at New York's Albert Einstein College of Medicine, studied 980 sexually active adolescents ages 14 to 17 from the Bronx, N.Y. More than half (56 percent) of the adolescents were female, 55 percent were Latino, and 44 percent had been tested for HIV. The participants completed computer-assisted surveys about HIV testing behavior.

Results showed that 66 percent of participants knew their partner had been tested for HIV. A number of participants (42 percent) had accompanied his or her partner to the test and 44 percent got tested in 60 days of their partners' most recent test. Also, 54 percent of participants in a serious committed relationship had been tested for HIV compared to 44 percent of the group. Of the participants tested, 60 percent had high HIV-related partner communication and 48 percent who had been tested reported a high degree of open communication and comfort discussing sex with their partner. Participants with a high degree of partner communication concerning HIV/AIDS were 3.7 times more likely to have been tested compared to those with low communication.

Talib suggested that these results provided opportunities for healthcare practitioners to include the discussion of partners' testing status when counseling adolescents about testing. Also she suggested inclusion of partner communication in interventions to encourage high-risk adolescents to get tested.

The full report, "The Influence of Individual, Partner, and Relationship Factors on HIV Testing in Adolescents," was published in the journal AIDS Patient Care and STDs (2013, 27 (11): 637-645; doi:10.1089/apc.2013.0218).

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.

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