Which Psychological Factors are Related to HIV Testing? A Quantitative Systematic Review of Global Studies

Michael Evangeli, Kirsten Pady, Abigail Wroe

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Deciding to test for HIV is necessary for receiving HIV treatment and care among those who are HIV-positive. This article presents a systematic review of quantitative studies on relationships between psychological (cognitive and affective) variables and HIV testing. Sixty two studies were included (fifty six cross sectional). Most measured lifetime testing. HIV knowledge, risk perception and stigma were the most commonly measured psychological variables. Meta-analysis was carried out on the relationships between HIV knowledge and testing, and HIV risk perception and testing. Both relationships were positive and significant, representing small effects (HIV knowledge, d = 0.22, 95 % CI 0.14–0.31, p < 0.001; HIV risk perception, OR 1.47, 95 % CI 1.26–1.67, p < 0.001). Other variables with a majority of studies showing a relationship with HIV testing included: perceived testing benefits, testing fear, perceived behavioural control/self-efficacy, knowledge of testing sites, prejudiced attitudes towards people living with HIV, and knowing someone with HIV. Research and practice implications are outlined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)880-918
Number of pages39
JournalAIDS & Behavior
Issue number4
Early online date13 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016

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