OBJECTIVE:

The goal of this study was to compare the effectiveness of a youth-friendly HIV video with in-person counseling in conveying HIV knowledge and obtaining consent for HIV testing among adolescent patients of an urban emergency department.

METHODS:

A 2-armed, randomized controlled trial was conducted on a convenience sample of 200 stable, sexually active people aged 15 to 21 years in an urban emergency department. Participants in both the in-person counseling group and the video intervention group completed preintervention and postintervention HIV knowledge measures. HIV knowledge was the primary outcome measure, and consent for HIV testing was the secondary outcome. Characteristics associated with voluntary HIV testing were identified.

RESULTS:

Of 333 eligible people, 200 agreed to participate. There was no difference in preintervention HIV knowledge scores between groups. Mean postintervention knowledge scores differed significantly between the video (78.5% correct) and the counselor (66.3% correct) (P < 0.01) groups. Overall, 51% of the video group accepted HIV testing compared with 22% in the control group (P < .01). Watching the video (OR: 3.6 [95% CI: 1.8–7.2]), being female (OR: 2.1 [95% CI: 1.0–4.2]), engaging in oral sex (OR: 2.8 [95% CI: 1.4–5.9]), and being older than 18 years (OR: 3.8 [95% CI: 1.8–7.8]) were all positively associated with testing.

CONCLUSIONS:

A youth-friendly HIV educational video improved adolescents' HIV knowledge and increased their participation in HIV testing more than in-person counseling. video-based HIV counseling can perform as well or better than in-person counseling for adolescents in the ED.

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