Staying Negative: How Repeatedly Receiving HIV-Negative Test Results Affects Perceived HIV-Risk and Risky Sexual Behavior

Theresa M. Fedor, University of Rochester

Although there are known differences in behavior and individual characteristics between multiple HIV test takers and individuals who do not test repeatedly, less is known about the effect of multiple testing itself. Little evidence exists on how repeatedly testing HIV-negative might change perceived HIV risk or the level of risk taken in sexual behavior. Given that current HIV testing recommendations include an explicit or implicit recommendation for testing repeatedly, it is important to evaluate changes in HIV risk perception and risk taking behavior for repeat testers. The focus of this paper is to evaluate the impact of receiving repeated HIV-negative test results using data from the Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health (MLSFH). Fixed effects models are used to examine how perceived HIV risk and risky sexual behaviors change over time and are affected by repeatedly testing HIV-negative.

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 Presented in Session P9. Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, and Reproductive Health