Decisions About Testing for HIV While in a Relationship: Perspectives From an Urban, Convenience Sample of HIV-Negative Male Couples Who Have a Sexual Agreement
Mitchell, J., C. Woodyatt, J. Bauermeister, and Rob Stephenson, et al. 2017. "Decisions About Testing for HIV While in a Relationship: Perspectives From an Urban, Convenience Sample of HIV-Negative Male Couples Who Have a Sexual Agreement." Archives of Sexual Behavior, 46(4): 1069-1077.
Many HIV-negative male couples establish a sexual agreement to help manage their HIV risk; however, less is known about their decisions about testing in this context. The present study examined whether male couples discussed HIV testing and explored their decisions about testing in the context of their sexual agreement at the individual- and couple-levels. Qualitative dyadic interview data were collected from 29 HIV-negative male couples with a sexual agreement who resided in Atlanta or Detroit; the sample was stratified by agreement type. Content analysis revealed male couples' decisions about HIV testing as routine, self-assurance, reliance and assumption on partner, beginning of relationship testers, and/or trust; decisions varied between partners and by agreement type. Findings suggest prevention efforts should help male couples integrate HIV testing into their sexual agreement that matches their agreement type and associated HIV-related risk behavior, and help shift their one-sided decisions about testing to a couple's mutually shared decision.