The experience of having a positive HIV antibody test.

AIDS care(2007)

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Little is known about the logistics of taking an HIV antibody test and yet knowledge of people's experiences of having a test result is helpful to evolving a sensitive and client oriented service and can provide some guidelines for organisation issues around testing. This paper reports the experiences of 252 gay men who had an HIV test which proved to be positive. The most frequent reasons for people to take a test were perception of personal risk or were related to perceived health problems. Ten per cent of people did not know they had had a test until they were told they were anti HIV positive--lack of knowledge was related mostly to the place where the test was done. Over one third of people said they knew little about the test or its implications before they contacted anyone, over half said they did not receive information at the time of the test and 41% when they were given the result. There were few changes over time in the experience of having a test.
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