Deterrents and motivators of HIV testing among young Black men who have sex with men in North Carolina

Megan Threats, Donte T. Boyd, José E. Diaz, Oluwamuyiwa Winifred Adebayo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the United States (US), young, Black men who have sex with men (YBMSM) are disproportionately affected by HIV. Delayed and infrequent HIV testing has been associated with the increased likelihood of YBMSM to be infected, yet unaware. Despite increased efforts to provide HIV testing to YBMSM in the US, HIV testing remains underutilized by YBMSM in the South. To develop strategies to increase HIV testing, this study sought to understand the factors that affect HIV testing utilization among YBMSM. Twenty-two HIV-positive and HIV-negative YBMSM aged 22–33 in North Carolina participated in semistructured interviews. Qualitative thematic analysis revealed that deterrents and motivators to HIV testing spanned individual, social, and structural levels. Deterrents included a low perceived risk of HIV, fear of receiving an HIV-positive test result, lack of HIV testing locations, healthcare provider mistreatment and privacy concerns due to intersectional stigma. Motivators of HIV testing included health maintenance, social support, and increased access to HIV testing. The findings from this study contribute to ongoing research that aims to address inconsistent HIV testing and late HIV diagnosis among YBMSM. Interventions to address intersectional stigma in community and healthcare settings can enhance utilization of HIV prevention services.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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