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Author Notes:

E-mail Address : sophia.ahmed.hussen@emory.edu

Analyzed the data: SAH RS CDR LW JW DW. Wrote the paper: SAH RS CDR LW JW DW. Conducted interviews: JW. Designed larger HPTN 061 qualitative study: LW DW. Helped to conceive qualitative analysis plan: SAH RS CDR LW JW DW.

The authors would like to thank our research participants as well as the following individuals who made the HPTN 061 study possible:

Emory University (Ponce de Leon Center & Hope Clinic Clinical Research Sites): Paula Frew, Christin Root;

Fenway Institute at Fenway Health: Kenneth Mayer, Benjamin Perkins, Kelvin Powell, Benny Vega;

George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services: Manya Magnus, Alan Greenberg, Jeanne Jordan, Irene Kuo, Gregory Phillips II, Christopher Watson; Harlem Prevention Center: Sharon Mannheimer, Avelino Loquere Jr.;

New York Blood Center: Beryl Koblin, Krista Goodman, Hong Van Tieu; San Francisco Department of Public Health: Susan P. Buchbinder, Michael Arnold, Chadwick Campbell, Mathew Sanchez; University of California Los Angeles (UCLA): Steven J. Shoptaw, Christopher Hucks-Ortiz; HPTN Coordinating and Operations Center (CORE), FHI 360;

Sam Griffith, Erica Hamilton, LaShawn Jones, Georgette King, Jonathan Paul Lucas, Teresa Nelson; HPTN Network Laboratory, Johns Hopkins Medical Institute: Sue Eshleman, Vanessa Cummings; HPTN Statistical and Data Management Center, Statistical Center for HIV/AIDS Research and Prevention (SCHARP): Lei Wang, Corey Kelly, Ting-Yuan Liu; Division of AIDS (DAIDS) at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH): Jane Bupp, Vanessa Elharrar; HPTN 061 Protocol Team Members: Sheldon Fields, Kaijson Noilmar, Steven Wakefield;

Other HPTN 061 Contributors: Black Gay Research Group, Kate MacQueen

Rob Stephenson is an editor for this journal. There has been no presubmission communication about this manuscript. This does not alter the authors' adherence to all the PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.


Research Funding:

The primary author's work on this manuscript was supported through the HPTN Scholars Program, funded by NIAID. HPTN 061 grant support provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): Cooperative Agreements UM1 AI068619, UM1 AI068617, and UM1 AI068613. Additional site funding - Fenway Institute CRS: Harvard University CFAR (P30 AI060354) and CTU for HIV Prevention and Microbicide Research (UM1 AI069480); George Washington University CRS: District of Columbia Developmental CFAR (P30 AI087714);

Harlem Prevention Center CRS and NY Blood Center/Union Square CRS: Columbia University CTU (5U01 AI069466) and ARRA funding (3U01 AI069466-03S1);

Hope Clinic of the Emory Vaccine Center CRS and The Ponce de Leon Center CRS: Emory University HIV/AIDS CTU (5U01 AI069418), CFAR (P30 AI050409) and CTSA (UL1 RR025008);

San Francisco Vaccine and Prevention CRS: ARRA funding (3U01 AI069496-03S1, 3U01 AI069496-03S2); UCLA Vine Street CRS: UCLA Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases CTU (U01 AI069424).

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

HIV Testing Patterns among Black Men Who Have Sex with Men: A Qualitative Typology


Journal Title:



Volume 8, Number 9


, Pages e75382-e75382

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Background Black men who have sex with men (MSM) in the Southeastern United States are disproportionately affected by HIV. Black MSM are more likely to have unrecognized HIV infection, suggesting that testing may occur later and/or infrequently relative to current recommendations. The objective of this qualitative study was to explore the HIV testing behaviors of Black MSM in Atlanta, Georgia, who were participants in the HIV Prevention Trials Network Brothers Study (HPTN 061). Methods and Findings We conducted 29 in-depth interviews and four focus groups with a community-recruited sample. Modified grounded theory methodologies were used to guide our inductive analysis, which yielded a typology comprised of four distinct HIV testing patterns. Participants could be categorized as: (1) Maintenance Testers, who tested regularly as part of routine self-care; (2) Risk-Based Testers, whose testing depended on relationship status or sexual behavior; (3) Convenience Testers, who tested irregularly depending on what testing opportunities arose; or (4) Test Avoiders, who tested infrequently and/or failed to follow up on results. We further characterized these groups with respect to age, socioeconomic factors, identity, stigma and healthcare access. Conclusions Our findings highlight the heterogeneity of HIV testing patterns among Black MSM, and offer a framework for conceptualizing HIV testing in this group. Public health messaging must account for the diversity of Black MSM's experiences, and multiple testing approaches should be developed and utilized to maximize outreach to different types of testers.

Copyright information:

© 2013 Hussen et al.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits distribution, public display, and publicly performance, distribution of derivative works, making multiple copies, provided the original work is properly cited. This license requires credit be given to copyright holder and/or author, copyright and license notices be kept intact.

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