Beliefs and behavioral intentions regarding human immunodeficiency virus testing among New York city runaways

Cheryl Koopman, Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus, Loren Dobbs, Marya Gwadz, Joshua Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

From 1988 to 1991, 139 runaways aged 11-19 years in the New York City area (n = 70 males, 69 females) were recruited from four shelters. Each runaway participated in a semistructured interview assessing beliefs and behavioral intentions regarding human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing. When asked how they would respond to being seropositive for HIV, 29% of runaways reported that they would engage in self-destructive acts and/or harm others (e.g., suicide, unprotected sex), 80% anticipated extreme distress, 47% expected difficulty securing housing and food, and 61% believed that friends were likely to avoid them. When presented with specific alternatives, fewer runaways anticipated self-destructive acte. Drug use, rather than sexual behaviors, would lead runaways to get tested for HIV. These results suggest that health-care providers must anticipate emotional distress and potential self-destructive behavior following receipt of documentation of HIV positive serostatus among runaways. Furthermore, prior to testing, youths' access to food, shelter, medical care, and social support must be secured.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)576-581
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Volume13
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1992

Keywords

  • Adolescent Runaways Homeless HIV testing Prevention Health care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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