Re-appraising HIV testing among Scottish gay men: the impact of new HIV treatments

Paul Flowers, C. L. Knussen, Barbara Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores Scottish gay men's understandings of HIV testing within the context of changes stemming from the availability of new treatments for HIV. Transcripts of one-to-one interviews with 18 gay men were analysed together with those from four focus groups (n = 19) concerning HIV testing, HIV status and HIV risk management. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was employed to identify recurrent themes. We focus upon a rise of HIV-optimism, risk-complacency and HIV fatigue and chart the apparent transformation of HIV diagnosis from 'death sentence' to 'life sentence'. In turn, we explore how these changes have impacted upon HIV testing. As HIV management becomes increasingly medicalized, we highlight the ongoing need to attend to psychological and social issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-678
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001


  • gay men
  • HIV anti-body test
  • medicalization
  • public health


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