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Study finds that too few gay teens go for HIV tests

by , 28 August 2015

According to a new report, gay teen boys are far less likely to go for HIV tests than older gay males. The researchers surveyed more than 300 gay and bisexual male teens between 14 and 18 years of age to reach their finding. Only one in every five boys had undergone HIV tests… A rate significantly lower than among older gay and bisexual men. So what does this all mean?

Why gay teens might be avoiding HIV tests

Major barriers to gay  teens going for HIV tests are as follows, according to the researchers:
  • Not knowing where to go for the tests
  • Concerns about being recognised at a testing location
  • Believing they won’t get infected
 
Researchers say understanding the barriers to testing provides critical information for intervening, so we can help young men get tested.
 

Why it’s important gay teens go for HIV tests

The incidence of new HIV infections is on the rise among young gay and bisexual men, new studies report. Testing is critical because it can help those who are positive receive lifesaving medical care.

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Effective treatment can also help prevent them from transmitting the virus to others.
 

Ways to get young gay teens to undergo HIV tests

Providing in-school testing would normalise the process. If there’s a presence of on-site testing at schools, testing would seem a lot less stigmatised. 
 
It would also increase gay teens’ knowledge about the testing process and make it less frightening.
 



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