Characteristics of Individuals Seeking Voluntary Counseling and Testing for HIV Infection in South Korea

Academic Article


  • Although the documented incidence and prevalence of HIV/AIDS in South Korea are relatively low in comparison with other counties, rates are steadily rising. It is believed that many cases have not been diagnosed because of the extreme stigma associated with HIV/AIDS in South Korea that serves as a barrier to voluntary counseling and testing (VCT). Little is currently known about individuals who present for counseling and testing. The purpose of this study was to explore the characteristics of individuals who sought VCT at the Korean Alliance to Defeat AIDS (KADA). Data were collected from 264 individuals who presented for VCT between October 1 and December 30, 2005, using self-administered questionnaires. More men than women (218 and 46, respectively) participated in this study. A large majority (85.3%) reported never using condoms and/or inconsistent condom use. The major reasons given for seeking HIV testing were unprotected sexual intercourse with commercial sex workers, premarital sex, and extramarital sex. Although none of the participants were HIV-positive, most were engaged in high risk sexual behaviors. Additionally, participants sought HIV testing at KADA because the results were rapidly available and their anonymity was ensured. The results suggest the need for interventions focused on safer sex practices and the importance of rapid HIV testing and assurance of anonymity to those in need of testing. © 2007 Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 21839093
  • Author List

  • Shin SR; Kang HS; Moneyham L
  • Start Page

  • 27
  • End Page

  • 33
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • 5