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Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças

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MARTINS, Alexandra; CHAVES, Catarina; CANAVARRO, Maria Cristina  and  PEREIRA, Marco. What psychosocial factors are associated with HIV testing?. Psic., Saúde & Doenças [online]. 2018, vol.19, n.1, pp.3-10. ISSN 1645-0086.

The early diagnosis of HIV infection has been a priority of the Directorate-General of Health. This study assessed the psychosocial factors associated with HIV testing in adults, in Portugal. The sample comprised 582 participants of the general population (144 men and 438 women), with a mean age of 30.66 years. Participants completed self-reported questionnaires on demographic information and sexual activity, perceived risk of HIV infection, knowledge about HIV/AIDS, stigma and discrimination, attachment and distress tolerance. The results revealed that 58% of participants had already taken an HIV test. Higher odds of taking the HIV test was associated with higher perception risk of HIV infection (OR = 1.07, 95% CI 1.03/1.12), more knowledge about HIV/AIDS (OR = 1.33, 95% CI 1.18/1.50), lower attachment-related anxiety (OR = 0.86, 95% CI 0.75/0.98) and higher distress tolerance (OR = 1.37, 95% CI 1.04/1.81). Stigma and discrimination related to HIV were not significant. The results suggest that individuals with more knowledge and higher perception of HIV risk, higher perceived capacity to withstand aversive emotional/physical states, and lower levels of anxious attachment have higher probability of HIV testing. The knowledge of these factors may have impact in future research as well as in practices and policies of public health.

Keywords : HIV/AIDS; HIV screening test; psychosocial factors; general population.

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