HIV-antibody testing: Beliefs affecting the consistency between women's behavioral intentions and behavior

Tracey E. Wilson, James Jaccard, Howard Minkoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A sample of 763 nonpregnant, heterosexual, sexually active women residing in an HIV-endemic area participated in a study to assess psychological predictors of HIV-antibody testing. In this sample, 464 women said that they might or would be tested that day, although only 56 did so. We examine salient beliefs that influenced testing decisions. In contrast to other studies, which have focused on predictors of behavioral intentions at only one point in time, the current study accounts for the fact that different concerns become salient to women at different stages of the counseling and testing process. Prior to counseling, women were deterred from testing because they feared the anxiety of waiting for their test results. This suggests that efforts aimed at same-day testing may be beneficial for increasing rates of test taking. After counseling and immediately preceding testing, women tended to follow through on their intentions if they believed that testing would better enable them to plan a pregnancy, and if they believed that it would not be too late for treatment. The implications of these findings for the counseling and testing process are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1734-1748
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume26
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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