Soliciting client questions in HIV prevention and test counseling

Ann Marie Kinnell, University of Southern Mississippi


This study examines a strategy, soliciting client questions, that HIV prevention counselors use to obtain a warrant for giving clients information about risk and prevention. If clients ask questions about risk and prevention, counselors can provide advice that is tailored to the client's request rather than speaking in a didactic manner. It has been argued in previous research that this approach of soliciting client questions usually does not actually elicit questions. In this study, I show that rather than being routinely marginalized, clients do hear counselors' solicits as legitimate opportunities to bring up previously unmentioned issues. Moreover, even if clients do not respond to the counselors' solicits with a question, counselors can still use client responses as a means to reopen issues of risk and prevention.