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Perceived Facilitators and Barriers to Couples' HIV Testing and Counseling in U.S. Clinical Settings

Perspectives From U.S. Health Providers

Leblanc, Natalie M., PhD, MPH, RN*; McMahon, James, PhD

Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care: May-June 2019 - Volume 30 - Issue 3 - p 279–291
doi: 10.1097/JNC.0000000000000055
Feature Article

We used a qualitative descriptive design to ascertain perceived facilitators and barriers to couples' HIV testing and counseling (CHTC) by U.S. health care providers. We recruited 22 providers from 4 health care facilities in Miami-Dade County, FL, from November 2015 to March 2016. In-depth, semistructured interviews were conducted. Content analysis categorized and contextualized provider narratives. Perceived facilitators of CHTC were provider experiences with couple-centered HIV-related care, existing patient or client demands for joint HIV screening, and a health care practice environment that fosters an interprofessional approach to addressing client needs. Perceived barriers were partner unwillingness to undergo HIV screening, provider role beliefs and preferences regarding couple-based approaches, and provider time constraints in tandem with funding and billing issues. Overall, providers endorsed CHTC and thought that current challenges and successes with couple-based efforts and HIV screening and care could influence CHTC implementation. Provider recommendations are discussed.

Natalie M. Leblanc, PhD, MPH, RN, is an Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA. James McMahon, PhD, is an Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Associate Professor (Secondary Appointment), Department of Public Health Sciences, School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York, USA.

Corresponding author: Natalie M. Leblanc, e-mail:

Sponsorships or competing interests that may be relevant to content are disclosed at the end of this article.

© 2019 Association of Nurses in AIDS Care
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