Background: Little is known regarding the possible role of social network members and peer attitudes on emergency department (ED) patients’ willingness to be tested for HIV. Methods: We conducted mixed methods in-depth interview and quantitative survey with ED patients from November 2013 to June 2014 to assess peer and personal perceptions of ED-based HIV testing. Patients enrolled were asked about their own attitudes toward HIV testing as well as those of their friends. Interviews were transcribed and categories that captured free responses in the verbatim were independently coded by two reviewers. Results: Overall, 86 patients were enrolled including 22 HIV known positive. Among 64 HIV-negative participants, 50 were tested during the past 12 months and 4 had never been tested. The majority (82.5%) of participants thought that their friends were likely to accept HIV testing in EDs. Participants discussed their perceptions of friends’ attitudes toward HIV testing: the majority (60%) believed their friends held positive attitudes about HIV testing. The majority of participants believed that their friends had positive feelings about HIV testing and were likely to accept testing in ED settings. Conclusions: Interventions utilizing peer networks to promote HIV testing and increase testing acceptance could be designed and explored.
- Emergency department
- HIV testing
- HIV testing history
- Peer's perceptions and attitudes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases