HIV testing and counseling is considered the cornerstone of a comprehensive approach to HIV prevention and education. Little is known, however, about HIV prevention, including HIV testing rates for Asian Pacific Islander (API) women, because data for this ethnic group is aggregated, thus limiting specific data for Chinese/Chinese American population or other API subgroups. This dissertation research examined factors associated with the decision to obtain an HIV test among Chinese/Chinese American community college women and explored the association among relationship status, partnership communication, and discussions of HIV testing.

Using constructs of the health belief model, an online and paper-pencil, crosssectional design survey was administered at four community college campuses in Northern California (N=230). Results indicate 30% of respondents obtained HIV testing. The most common reasons for testing were “just to find out” (73%), “having had unprotected sexual intercourse” (63%), and “having had sex with a new partner” (57%).

Among those who never tested, low levels of perceived susceptibility and lack of knowledge on testing sites were the most common barriers. Multiple logistic regression analyses revealed older age, American-centered/mixed ethnic identity, lack of condom use during last intercourse, lower perceived barriers, and higher self-efficacy as significant predictors of HIV testing history {p = .007). Emphasizing these reasons in HIV education campaigns will likely increase testing rates for this population.

In regards to partnership status, 60% of respondents were in committed partnerships, 21% in casual partnerships, and 19% were single or in nonsexual relationships. Fifty-one percent have ever communicated with their partners about HIV testing/serostatus. Results indicated that relationship status and partner communication were associated with a history of testing.

Interventions to increase partner communication among Chinese/Chinese American college women and their partners are needed. Findings from this study contribute to the limited existing literature and provide disaggregated data on a specific API subgroup to health educators planning culturally appropriate and effective HIV prevention programs. Self-selection, recall error and social desirability bias from selfreports, and nonrandom sampling technique limit the generalizability of the findings.


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Naomi N. Modeste

Second Advisor

Helen Hopp Marshak

Third Advisor

Michael A. Males

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome -- prevention and control; AIDS Serodiagnosis -- psychology; Communication; HIV Infections -- diagnosis; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice -- Chinese American; Cultural Characteristics; Asian Americans -- psychology; California -- epidemiology



Page Count

xv; 193

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives