Consent for HIV Testing Among Adolescent Sexual Minority Males: Legal Status, Youth Perceptions, and Associations with Actual Testing and Sexual Risk Behavior

Consent for HIV Testing Among Adolescent Sexual Minority Males: Legal Status, Youth Perceptions, and Associations with Actual Testing and Sexual Risk Behavior
Kimberly M. Nelson, Kristen Underhill, Michael P. Carey
AIDS and Behavior, 12 February 2019; pp 1-6
Abstract
This brief report presents a preliminary investigation of the relations between minor consent laws for HIV testing/treatment and testing behavior among adolescent sexual minority males (ASMM; N = 127; ages 14–17). Most participants had legal capacity to consent without parental/guardian permission (HIV testing: 79%; HIV testing/treatment: 65%). Despite having this legal right, few (15%) had ever tested. Capacity to consent was not associated with HIV testing in this sample; nevertheless, those who had not disclosed their sexual activity to parents/guardians were less likely to have tested. Confidentiality concerns may be a barrier to testing for these youth despite laws intended to enable independent testing.

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