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Impact of HIV Test Counseling on College Students' Sexual Beliefs and Behaviors

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Objective: To compare the health beliefs and risky sexual behaviors of college students who did and did not seek HIV testing. Methods: A survey was administered, and testing sessions were content analyzed. Results: There were no significant differences in health beliefs, but students surveyed perceived themselves to be invulnerable to HIV/ AIDS despite unsafe sexual behaviors. Sexual behaviors varied with students who sought HIV testing practicing more unsafe vaginal and oral intercourse. Assessment of the intervention suggested that counseling sessions were influential in persuading students to rethink their health beliefs and change their risky sexual behaviors. Conclusion: Testing can be used as both a prevention tool and a way to determine college students' HIV status.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5993/AJHB.26.2.5

Affiliations: Department of Communication, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.

Publication date: March 1, 2002

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.
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