245566 HIV diagnoses surge in young black men who have sex with men (MSM) in Milwaukee, WI: A need to revisit local public health strategies and community approach?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Paul A. Biedrzycki, MPH, MBA , Health Department, City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Irmine Reitl, MSN , Health Department, City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
William J. Borzon, MA , Health Department, City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee
Issue: In Fall of 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted an Epi-Aid Investigation in Milwaukee, WI associated with a documented 144% increase in HIV diagnoses in young black Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) in Milwaukee County during 2000-20081. (1. CDC 2011) Description: As a result of Epi-Aid investigation, the Wisconsin Division of Public Health (WDPH) and City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) revisited state and local planning related to prevention and intervention strategies aimed at reducing HIV infection incidence in young minority MSM populations within Milwaukee. The MHD contracted with a community organization to begin a multi-phase approach to engage community members, gay and bisexual youth and healthcare providers in developing a coordinated and comprehensive plan for HIV reduction. Lessons Learned: The Epi-Aid investigation concluded that the increase in HIV diagnoses among young MSM could not be fully explained by increased social network testing and likely reflected a real increase in HIV transmission and infection within Milwaukee during the study period. In addition, interviews conducted by the CDC with young MSM suggested various socio-environmental factors that may play a role in the observed increase including community stigmatization, internalized homophobia and high risk sexual networks. Recommendations: The MHD and WDPH are pursuing a number of new initiatives to address the documented increase in HIV diagnoses including development of a public awareness campaign directed at young MSM populations; dialogue with faith-based leadership; increasing testing opportunities and pursuit of funding for sustainment of community-based partnerships and interventions.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe briefly the CDC Epi-Aid Study conducted in Milwaukee in terms of methodology and findings and associated with the marked increase in HIV diagnoses in young black MSM between 2000-2008. Discuss those socio-environmental factors that may play a role in increased HIV transmission and infection in young minority MSM populations. List various strategies that may be employed by local public health agencies to reduce HIV transmission and infection in young gay and bisexual youth.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I currently serve as Director of Disease Control and Environmental Health for the City of Milwaukee Health Department and oversee the STD/HIV/TB Clinic and Control Programs.
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.