Relational Factors and HIV Testing Practices: Qualitative Insights from Urban Refugee Youth in Kampala, Uganda

Carmen H. Logie, Moses Okumu, Maya Latif, Samantha Parker, Robert Hakiza, Daniel Kibuuka Musoke, Simon Mwima, Shamilah Batte, Peter Kyambadde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the global phenomenon of refugee urbanization, little is known of relational contexts that shape HIV testing among urban refugee youth. We explored perspectives, experiences, and preferences for social support in HIV testing among refugee youth aged 16–24 in Kampala, Uganda. We conducted five focus groups with refugee youth (n = 44) and five in-depth key informant interviews. Participant narratives signaled relational contexts shaping HIV testing included informal sources (intimate partners and family members) and formal sources (peer educators and professionals). There was heterogeneity in perspectives based on relationship dynamics. While some felt empowered to test with partners, others feared negative relationship consequences. Participant narratives reflected kinship ties that could facilitate testing with family, while others feared coercion and judgment. Peer support was widely accepted. Professional support was key for HIV testing as well as conflict-related trauma. Findings emphasize bonding and bridging social capital as salient components of enabling HIV testing environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2191-2202
Number of pages12
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • HIV testing
  • Refugees
  • Social support
  • Uganda
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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