Attitudes Towards Couples-Based HIV Testing Among MSM in Three US Cities
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Couples-based voluntary HIV counseling and testing (CVCT)—in which couples receive counseling and their HIV test results together—has been shown to be an effective strategy among heterosexual sero-discordant couples in Africa for reducing HIV transmission by initiating behavioral change. This study examined attitudes towards CVCT among men who have sex with men (MSM) in three US cities. Four focus group discussions (FGD) were held with MSM in Atlanta, Chicago, and Seattle. Although initially hesitant, participants reported an overwhelming acceptance of CVCT. CVCT was seen as a sign of commitment within a relationship and was reported to be more appropriate for men in longer-term relationships. CVCT was also seen as providing a forum for the discussion of risk-taking within the relationship. Our results suggest that there may be a demand for CVCT among MSM in the United States, but some modifications to the existing African CVCT protocol may be needed.