HIV Testing Patterns Among Urban YMSM of Color

Noelle R. Leonard, Sonali Rajan, Marya V. Gwadz, Temi Aregbesola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The heightened level of risk for HIV infection among Black and Latino young men who have sex with men (YMSM) is driven by multilevel influences. Using cross-sectional data, we examined HIV testing patterns among urban YMSM of color in a high–HIV seroprevalence area (ages 16 to 21 years). Self-reported frequency of testing was high, with 42% of youth reporting testing at a greater frequency than recommended guidelines. There were no differences between less frequent and more frequent testers on sexual risk behaviors. Most (80%) youth cited reassurance of HIV-negative status as a reason for testing. Further, over half of the sample reported numerous other reasons for HIV testing, which spanned individual, partner, social, and structural levels of influence. Approximately half of respondents indicated that peers, family members, and counselors influenced their motivation to get tested. Of concern, their first HIV test occurred approximately 2 years after their first sexual experience with another male. These results indicate the need to consider developmental issues as well as comprehensive, multilevel efforts to ensure that YMSM of color test at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention–recommended frequency but not less than this or too frequently.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)673-681
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 24 2014


  • African American
  • Black
  • HIV testing
  • Latino
  • YMSM
  • adolescent
  • men who have sex with men
  • urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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