Providers' perceptions of Couples' HIV Testing and Counseling (CHTC): Perspectives from a U.S. HIV Epicenter

Natalie M. Leblanc, Jason W. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Current epidemiology demonstrates the significance of couple-based HIV transmission among vulnerable U.S. populations and its contribution to health disparity in HIV prevalence. Couples' HIV testing and counseling (CHTC) can be used to address couple-based HIV risk in the United States. Though a globally recognized service, the literature lacks U.S.-based health-care providers' (HCPs) perspectives of CHTC. To address this research gap, a qualitative descriptive design was used to ascertain HCPs' perceptions about CHTC. Semistructured in-depth interviews were conducted with 22 HCPs who were experienced with engaging patients or clients across the HIV care continuum. Overall, HCPs supported CHTC for different U.S. populations. Content analysis revealed that HCPs perceived CHTC to be an evolution from current HIV testing approaches and a mechanism to screen people who may not otherwise. CHTC was perceived to have biomedical and socio-behavioral merit that warranted consideration for implementation within health service settings and among populations with heightened vulnerability to HIV acquisition. This strategy was perceived to be a mechanism for introducing pre-exposure prophylaxis and conception health into one's practice. CHTC also signaled patients reorienting perceptions of personal health as being linked to the health of another individual. Providers recognized that couples have evolved to be increasingly nonheteronormative and thought that CHTC should be offered to all couples. However, participants also noted that HCPs in the United States need to be comfortable with promoting sexual health among various populations for implementation of CHTC to be successful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-33
Number of pages12
JournalCouple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Content analysis
  • Couples' HIV testing and counseling
  • HIV prevention
  • Health provider practice
  • Qualitative descriptive design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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