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Early, routine testing for HIV is key to curbing the disease among teens
Date:11/12/2007

ease among our nations at-risk youth.

Adolescents who received HIV testing during the three-month study were also more likely to have a sexually transmitted disease, to be assertive about condom use with their partner, and to not use drugs or alcohol during sex. However, researchers saw no association between having sex with high-risk partners or one's own perceived susceptibility to HIV and getting tested for the disease although these are some of the reasons that often motivate adults to get tested.

In the study, teens were randomly assigned to either a wait-list control group or a brief, three-hour skills-based group HIV prevention intervention based on Project LIGHT a National Institute of Mental Health/National Institute of Health-funded multi-site trial for young adults at high risk for HIV. Baseline and three-month follow-up interviews were administered.

Based on these results, the authors conclude that it is critical for HIV testing to be made more readily available to adolescents in order to increase the chances that they will seek future HIV testing as they engage in more HIV high-risk behaviors. They also advocate for public health campaigns that focus on incorporating HIV testing as part of the general practice of being proactive about one's own health to also help increase rates of adolescent HIV testing.

Implementing testing throughout various nontraditional adolescent venues, such as schools and community settings (e.g., boys and girls clubs, YMCA) could increase future testing thereby making more adolescents aware of their positive HIV status and reducing future HIV transmission among youth, the authors said.


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Contact: Jessica Grimes
jgrimes2@lifespan.org
401-432-1328
Lifespan
Source:Eurekalert

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