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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Determinants of intention to get tested for STI/HIV among the Surinamese and Antilleans in the Netherlands: results of an online survey

Alvin H Westmaas12*, Gerjo Kok2, Pjer Vriens1, Hannelore Götz1, Jan Hendrik Richardus13 and Hélène Voeten13

Author Affiliations

1 Municipal Public Health Service Rotterdam, P.O. Box 70032, 3000, LP, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

2 Maastricht University, Department of Work & Social Psychology, P.O. Box 616, 6200, MD, Maastricht, The Netherlands

3 Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Department of Public Health, P.O. Box 2040, 3000, CA, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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BMC Public Health 2012, 12:961  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-961

Published: 9 November 2012

Abstract

Background

High infection rates of STIs are found among the different ethnic communities living in the Netherlands, especially among the Surinamese and Dutch-Antilleans. Only limited effective interventions that promote STI/HIV testing among these communities are available in the Netherlands. In the present study we identified the determinants of the intention to get tested for STI/HIV of the sexually active Surinamese and Dutch-Antilleans living in the Netherlands. Secondly, this study assesses which determinants should be addressed when promoting STI/HIV testing among these communities.

Methods

In total, 450 Surinamese and 303 Dutch-Antillean respondents were recruited through Dutch Internet panels and group activities. The questionnaire used in the online survey was based on the concepts of the Health Belief Model, the Social Cognitive Theory, and Theory of Planned behavior. To correct for multiple outcome testing, we considered differences as statistically significant at p<.01 for all analyses. For the multivariate linear regression analysis, variables that were significant were entered into the model block-wise.

Results

Health motivation, cues to action, subjective norms, risk behavior, test history, open communication about sexuality, and marital status were important (univariate) predictors of the intention to get tested for STI/HIV for both the Surinamese and Dutch-Antillean respondents. For both the Surinamese and Dutch-Antilleans, subjective norms were the most salient predictor of the intention to get tested in multivariate analyses, explaining 10% and 13% of the variance respectively; subjective norms had a direct influence on the intention for both the Surinamese and the Dutch-Antilleans.

Conclusions

The strong correlation and predictive power of subjective norms on the intention to get tested for STI/HIV, endorses the importance of focusing on community-based intervention rather than focusing on personal determinants, to change the present perceptions and attitudes towards testing. Health promoting programs should be aimed at promoting open communication regarding sexuality and testing. Stimulating each other to get tested frequently could also help achieving the desired behavior.

Keywords:
Health Belief Model; STI testing; Surinamese; Dutch-Antilleans; Subjective norms; Culturally relevant