Components of the health belief model and HIV testing decisions

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Lori J. Walker (Creator)
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
Web Site:
Katherine Bruce

Abstract: An individual infected with HIV may have no visible symptoms of the illness. Therefore, it is important for individuals who are sexually active to practice selfprotective behaviors (e.g. discussing HIV testing with potential sex partners). The current descriptive study assessed the self-protective behavior of obtaining an HIV-antibody test within the framework of The Health Belief Model (HBM). Perceptions regarding susceptibility to HIV infection, severity of the disease, benefits or barriers to HIVantibody testing, and personal self-efficacy for engaging in protective behaviors were assessed in “Testers” (those who have been tested for HIV infection) and “Non-testers” (those who have not been tested). Phase 1 of the current study validated the HIV Testing Attitude Scale (HTAS) using introductory psychology students and clients from the county health department (n=203). Six items not included on the original HTAS reached significance with correlations ranging from 0.39 to 0.52 and were added to the scale. In Phase 2, participants (n=362) recruited from three health facilities and introductory psychology students were assessed using the HTAS, Self Efficacy Scale, Health Locus of Control, AIDS Health Belief Scale, Social Desirability, and specific items measuring attitudes and perceptions towards self-protective behaviors. Significant differences between Testers and Non-testers were found in HTAS, SES, HLOC, AHBS, SD, age, education level, drug or alcohol use associated with sexual activity, age of first coitus, knowledge of self-protective behaviors, and perception of personal susceptibility. Limitations of the HBM to differentiate between those who have and those who have not been tested for HIV infection were discussed along with limitations of the current study and suggestions for future research.

Additional Information

A Thesis Submitted to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment Of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts
Language: English
Date: 2009
AIDS (Disease)--Prevention, AIDS (Disease)--United States, Health attitudes, Health education
Health attitudes
Health education
AIDS (Disease) -- United States
AIDS (Disease) -- Prevention

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