Since 1996, when AIDS anti-retroviral treatment became a universal and cost-free right, voluntary HIV testing has been highlighted in public policies as primary and secondary prevention strategies. Thus, many studies have investigated testing in specifically vulnerable groups, such as men who have sex with men, injecting drug users, and sex workers. However, there are few studies with estimates of HIV testing in the general population. Despite national campaigns have encouraged voluntary testing, HIV testing has not increased in the young population. Besides the lack of youth-friendly health services, qualitative research has described the AIDS stigma as a barrier to HIV testing among adolescents, since they associate this procedure as necessary only to "risk groups", as well as the fear of individual and social consequences in case of a positive diagnosis. Thus, the aim of this study is to understand psychosocial aspects involved in the decision of youth concerning the HIV test. A qualitative investigation will be carried out with 24 in-depth interviews with adolescents and 6 focus groups with adolescents (n=2), parents (n=2) and teachers (n=2) in the city of São Paulo. The participants will be contacted at eight schools from different districts combining the following criteria: presence/absence of STD/AIDS prevention activities, high/low programmatic vulnerability to HIV/AIDS and high/low AIDS incidence in the district. The interview and focus group guides will investigate the following aspects: AIDS symbolisms, self-perception of risk for HIV infection, clinical and social consequences of (positive and negative) diagnosis, benefits and disadvantages of performing the test and perceptions on situations of compulsory testing. The reports will be produced based on the methodology of scenes construction related to performing an HIV test. The results will be analyzed based on the constructionist theoretical approach in AIDS social research.
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