Rural College Students’ Amenability Towards Using At-Home HIV and STI Testing Kits

Lynn Bui, Randolph Hubach, Carlos Mahaffey, Kelley Rhoads, Andrew M. O'Neil, Campbell Ernst, Justin Hamrick, Zachary Giano

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Background: College students residing in rural areas of the United States have limited access to HIV and STI screening programs; yet, have increased rates of infection.

Methods: Students (N=326), attending a state university located within a rural community, completed an online survey containing open-ended questions that gauged their perceptions and experiences with HIV/STI testing, amenability to at-home testing technology, and preferences for obtaining at-home testing kits. Inductive coding was utilized to create themes for each open-ended question.

Results: Students encounter a number of perceived barriers to accessing clinical HIV/STI testing venues including cost, utilization of parents’ medical insurance, and stigma. Students desired screening paradigms that allow for a greater sense of privacy and the ability to be empowered through self-sampling methods. This includes the use of at-home testing kits which could be accessed via mail, campus, or the local community. Although students were overwhelming amenable to using at-home testing, students discussed concerns with potential user error that could impact testing accuracy.

Conclusions: Study findings suggest the importance of developing less clinically-oriented systems of HIV/STI screening, which allow students to choose from an array of screening options. Removing perceived barriers, notably access and privacy concerns, to HIV/STI testing by leveraging at-home testing is one potential method to increase screening uptake among this at-risk population.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 22 Feb 2021
EventOklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Research Days 2021: Poster presentation - Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Campus, Tulsa, United States
Duration: 22 Feb 202126 Feb 2021


ConferenceOklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Research Days 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • At-home testing
  • Rural health
  • Emergent adults
  • Testing preferences


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