This study examined racial/ethnic differences in rationale for intending to test for HIV. Data were analyzed from 98,971 adults from the 2007–2010 National Health Interview Survey. An estimated 38.5 % of respondents previously tested for HIV. Testing as part of a medical checkup or procedure was the most common reason for being tested among studied racial/ethnic groups. Non-Hispanic whites (80.7 %) and non-Hispanic Asians (71.2 %) had higher proportions (p < 0.001) of respondents that have not been tested for HIV due to believing they were unlikely exposed. Non-Hispanic blacks (ARR: 2.55; 95 % CI 2.39–2.72) and Hispanics (ARR: 1.81; 95 % CI 1.68–1.95) who ever tested for HIV were significantly more likely to report positive future testing intentions compared to non-Hispanic whites. Additional efforts to increase the availability of HIV tests by making HIV testing a routine part of medical care and increasing knowledge of HIV transmission, risk-perception, and treatment may reduce racial/ethnic disparities in HIV testing.