Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1915-2309

Date of Award

12-17-2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Heather Bradley

Second Advisor

Dr. Ike Okosun

Abstract

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in 2017 of the 27,000 new HIV diagnoses among the men who have sex with men (MSM) population, individuals between the ages of 13 to 34 made up 64% (17,194) of new HIV diagnoses. But, according to CDC's Atlas Plus data tool, the number of HIV diagnoses among MSM aged 13-24 years has been declining since 2014. The aim of this study was to assess changes over time in HIV testing among young MSM, as change in testing behavior is one potential reason for declining HIV diagnoses. Using survey data collected by the PRISM Health Research Team at the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, HIV testing behaviors of young MSM between the ages of 15-29 from the years 2013 to 2018 were analyzed. The age group and year group was broken down into two groups of 15-24 and 25-29 year olds and 2013-2015 and 2016-2018. A logistic regression model was used to test whether covariates confounded on or had an effect modification on the exposure (year) and outcome (HIV test) of interest. The major finding was that testing behavior among 15-24 year olds remained unchanged across time, but an increase in past year testing was observed in the 25-29 year old group (p-value <0.05). Increased testing among 25-29 year olds was observed at a similar magnitude after accounting for potential confounders and effect modifiers. For the 15-24 year olds, it was found that as the level of educational attainment increased so did the odds of reporting an HIV test in the past year (p-value <0.05).

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