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HIV testing, risk perception, and behaviour in the British population

Clifton, S; Nardone, A; Field, N; Mercer, CH; Tanton, C; Macdowall, W; Johnson, AM; (2016) HIV testing, risk perception, and behaviour in the British population. AIDS , 30 (6) pp. 943-952. 10.1097/QAD.0000000000001006. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationship between HIV risk behaviour, risk perception and testing in Britain. DESIGN: A probability sample survey of the British population. METHODS: We analyzed data on sexual behaviour, self-perceived HIV risk and HIV testing (excluding testing because of blood donation) from 13 751 sexually experienced men and women aged 16-74, interviewed between 2010 and 2012 using computer-assisted face-to-face and self-interviewing. RESULTS: Altogether, 3.5% of men and 5.4% of women reported having an HIV test in the past year. Higher perceived risk of HIV was associated with sexual risk behaviours and with HIV testing. However, the majority of those rating themselves as 'greatly' or 'quite a lot' at risk of HIV (3.4% of men, 2.5% of women) had not tested in the past year. This was also found among the groups most affected by HIV: MSM and black Africans. Within these groups, the majority reporting sexual risk behaviours did not perceive themselves as at risk and had not tested for HIV. Overall, 29.6% of men and 39.9% of women who tested for HIV in the past year could be classified as low risk across a range of measures. CONCLUSION: Most people who perceive themselves as at risk of HIV have not recently tested, including among MSM and black Africans. Many people tested in Britain are at low risk, reflecting current policy that aims to normalize testing. Strategies to further improve uptake of testing are needed, particularly in those at greatest risk, to further reduce undiagnosed HIV infection at late diagnoses.

Type: Article
Title: HIV testing, risk perception, and behaviour in the British population
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000001006
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/QAD.0000000000001006
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1479297
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