Perceived Empathy of Service Providers Mediates the Association between Perceived Discrimination and Behavioral Intention to Take Up HIV Antibody Testing Again among MSM.

Published: February 18, 2015

Gu J, Lau JT, Wang Z, Wu AM, Tan X.
Original Article:


HIV antibody testing is a key measure of HIV prevention for men who have sex with men (MSM). The World Health Organization recommends sexually active and at-risk MSM to take up HIV antibody testing regularly. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of behavioral intention to take up HIV antibody testing in the next six months among Hong Kong MSM who were ever-testers. An anonymous cross-sectional survey recruited 326 MSM who had taken up HIV antibody testing from gay-friendly venues and internet in Hong Kong. Of the participants, 40.8% had had unprotected anal intercourse with regular or non-regular male sex partners in the last six months; they were at risk of HIV transmission despite experience in HIV antibody testing. Only 37.2% showed a strong intention to take up HIV antibody testing again in the next six months. Adjusted analysis showed that both perceived discrimination toward Hong Kong MSM (AOR = .60, 95% CI: .36-.98) and the CARE Measure assessing perceived empathy of service providers (AOR = 1.05, 95% CI: 1.02-1.08) were significantly associated with intention for retesting. Perceived discrimination, however, became statistically non-significant (AOR = .68, 95% CI: .41-1.14), when both CARE Measure and perceived discrimination entered into the adjusted model. It is warranted to increase HIV retesting rate by removing perceived discrimination and reducing the negative effect of perceived discrimination through enhancement of empathy of service providers.

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