239484 Using event-based HIV testing to increase awareness of HIV status and identify undiagnosed infection among black populations: The behavioral assessment and rapid testing (BART) project

Monday, October 31, 2011: 8:50 AM

Peter E. Thomas, PhD, MPH , Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, CDC, Atlanta, GA
Anissa Walker, BBA , NCHHSTP/DHAP/BCSB/Special Studies and Diagnostic Team, CDC, Atlanta, GA
Pollyana R. Chavez, PhD , NHHSTP/DHAP/BCSB/Special Studies and Diagnostics Team, CDC, Atlanta, GA
Introduction: In the US, blacks, including black men who have sex with men (MSM), have disproportionately high rates of HIV infection. Studies show half of HIV-infected minority MSM was unaware of their HIV status, and > 33% of HIV-infected blacks are diagnosed late in their illness. Offering HIV rapid testing (HRT) in non-clinical settings can increase awareness of HIV status and may lead to reduced HIV transmission. We implemented event-based HRT among high-risk populations that may not have access to routine testing.

Methods: During 2009-2011, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Assessment and Rapid Testing (BART) project offered HRT at 15 non-clinical social and cultural events specifically attracting minority MSM or blacks. We used event-specific recruitment, testing, and confidential counseling strategies and referred all HIV-positive persons to care.

Results: We tested 3730 black participants, of whom 701 (19%) identified as MSM and 2097 (56%) were women. Of 1048 (28%) black participants who had not been previously tested for HIV, 627 (60%) were women and 90 (9%) were MSM. Of 111 (3%) black participants with HIV-positive results, 24 (22%) had not been tested in the past year and another 14 (13%) had never been previously tested. Overall, 89 (80%) of HIV-infected black participants, including 9 (8%) women, and 70 (63%) MSM were not aware of their infection.

Conclusion: By offering HIV testing at social and cultural events attracting black populations, we increased awareness of HIV status among high-risk populations and identified undiagnosed infection among black women and black MSM.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
- Describe the populations reached through event-based HIV testing - Compare the testing yield from different types of testing events. - Demonstrate the value and importance of event-based testing for reaching HIV-infected persons who are not aware of their HIV status

Keywords: African American, Underserved Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Senior research scientist at the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.