The intentions of gay men in taking an HIV test

Christina Knussen, Paul Flowers, Stephanie Church

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this study was to determine the contributions of a range of psychosocial, demographic and behavioural variables to gay men's intentions to take an HIV test. A cross-sectional self-report survey was undertaken. Researchers approached patrons of all known gay bars in Glasgow and Edinburgh during May 2000. Questionnaires were completed by 803 men (response rate of 78%). Those with a stronger intention to test had previously tested, and they were younger, with two or more recent unprotected anal sex partners. They perceived their HIV status to be unknown, had less fear of a positive test result, and perceived more benefits of testing. Intention to test in those with two or more recent unprotected anal sex partners was attenuated if accompanied by increased fear of a positive test result. Results are considered in the context of the theories of reasoned action and planned behaviour. Intention to test is far from a unitary phenomenon, and the existence of various sub-groups within the gay population demands a new approach to both research and health promotion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-59
Number of pages15
JournalCulture Health and Sexuality
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004


  • HIV testing
  • gay men
  • intention to test


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