Stressful point-of-care rapid testing for human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis C virus, and syphilis

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Even with technological advances in point-of-care rapid testing for HIV, hepatitis, and syphilis, individuals may still find the experience of submitting to testing, and receiving results, to be stressful. Participants completed the rapid test experience questionnaires to assess stress both prior to and after the specimen collection. Participants completed the risk behavior assessment, the coping strategies indicator, and the Barratt impulsivity scale. Participants chose which rapid tests they wanted using a list administered via computer. Logistic regression analysis was used to model self-reported stress prior to testing and after testing. A total of 1097 individuals completed testing. Individuals who scored high on avoidance reported a stressful experience at pretest (OR = 1.15, CI = 1.04, 1.26) while higher educational attainment was associated with no stress at both time points. Injection drug users, avoidant, and impulsive individuals experience stress either before or after rapid testing. Education appears to be protective against stressful testing.

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