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A DNP Quality Improvement Project Addressing Low HIV Screening Rates of College Students

The overall HIV testing rate is very low in the United States. HIV is easily preventable with safe sexual practices, and early HIV screening is effective in identifying individuals affected and assuring linkage to care. The rate of HIV testing among college students reflects the low numbers of the national average. This quality improvement project evaluated attitudes towards HIV testing of undergraduate college students. The project aimed to determine attitudes of college students towards testing as well as relationships between demographic factors, frequency of HIV testing, and attitudes towards testing. A total of 99 undergraduate college students participated in the study. Instruments measured demographic characteristics and specific factors of attitude about HIV testing including friends’ and family’s responses, public opinion, and confidentiality. Data indicated a low positive correlation between previously being tested for HIV and positive attitudes towards HIV testing (r = .28, p < .01). There was also a low positive correlation between age and positive attitudes towards HIV testing (r = .33, p < .01). Further results noted a low positive correlation between sex with opposite-gender partners and sex risk (r = .31, p < .05) and a weak positive correlation between sex with transgender partners and sex risk ( r .21, p < .05) . Additionally, there was a low positive correlation between history of drug use and sex risk (r = .30, p < .01). Similar to previous research, results support HIV testing should target younger undergraduate students who have sex with opposite-gender or transgender partners, and students with a history of drug use.

Keywords: college students, undergraduates, HIV testing, HIV screening, Health Belief Model

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