261629 HIV risk behavior and HIV testing among heterosexually-active homeless men in Skid Row

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 5:00 PM - 5:15 PM

Harmony Rhoades, PhD , School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Suzanne Wenzel, PhD , School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Joan Tucker, PhD , RAND Health, RAND Corporation, Santa Moncia, CA
Daniela Golinelli, PhD , RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA
David P. Kennedy, PhD , RAND, Santa Monica, CA
Annie Jie Zhou, MS , RAND, Santa Monica, CA
Brett Ewing, MS , Statistics, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA
Objectives: HIV is a serious epidemic among homeless persons, where rates of infection are estimated at three times higher than in the general population. HIV testing is an effective tool for reducing HIV transmission and for combating poor HIV/AIDS health outcomes that disproportionately affect homeless persons, however, little is known about the HIV testing behavior of homeless men. This study examined the association between individual (HIV risk) and structural (service access) factors and past year HIV testing. Methods: Participants were a representative sample of 305 heterosexually active homeless men interviewed from meal programs in the Skid Row region of LA. Logistic regression examined the association between past year HIV testing and demographic characteristics, HIV risk behavior, and access to other services in Skid Row in the past 30 days. Results: Despite high rates of past year HIV testing, study participants also reported high rates of HIV risk behavior, suggesting there is still significant unmet need for HIV prevention among homeless men. Having recently used medical/dental services in the Skid Row area (OR: 1.91; CI: 1.09, 3.35), and being a military veteran (OR: 2.10; CI: 1.01 4.37) were significantly associated with HIV testing service utilization. Conclusions: HIV testing was not associated with HIV risk behavior, but rather with access to services and veteran status, the latter of which prior research has linked to increased service access. Therefore, we suggest that programs encouraging general medical service access may be important for disseminating HIV testing services to this high-risk, vulnerable population.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain HIV risk among the under-studied population of heterosexually-active homeless men. 2. Describe the unique structural factors associated with HIV testing in this high-risk population. 3. Discuss prevention programming targeted toward increasing HIV testing rates among homeless men.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Homelessness

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was a postdoctoral research associate on the study which collected this data. I did the data analysis and conceptualization of this project, and have previously completed several research projects on HIV testing, including my Ph.D. dissertation.
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.

Back to: 4404.0: HIV Testing Behaviors