267805 Implementation and evaluation of the Bridge Project: A HIV testing and linkage to care model offered at public aid offices in high HIV prevalence minority neighbors

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 1:15 PM - 1:30 PM

Tomas Soto, PhD, MPH , Department of Research, Evaluation and Data Services, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Cynthia Tucker, MA , Department of Prevention Services, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Michael Rivers, MA , Department of Research, Evaluation and Data Services, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Issue: Expanded HIV testing in non-clinical settings can help identify individuals unaware of their HIV status and increase HIV care access. We evaluated the impact of offering HIV testing and linkage to care services at public aid offices in high HIV prevalent Chicago neighborhoods. Description: We developed a coordinated HIV screening and linkage to care program model and implemented it in social service/public aid offices in 3 low-income community neighborhoods with high HIV prevalence rates. From May through December 2011, the testing collaborative provided 179 days of HIV testing and linkage to care services and administered 4,219 HIV screenings. Of those screened 49% were first time testers, 63% women, 86% African American, 10% Hispanic, 4% white, and average 34. We identified 25 positives for an overall seropositivity rate of 0.6%. Seropositivity rates varied by gender (1% for males vs. 0.4% for women, p = .03). Of those positive, 9 were newly diagnosed and 40% were successfully link to care services. Lessons Learned: HIV testing and linkage to care services in public aid offices can reach high numbers of first-time testers and at risk individuals who might otherwise not be tested. Linkages to care activities proved more challenging to implement without established mechanisms to quickly link to clients to care. These services can also serve as outreach mechanism to “re-link” those HIV+ individual disengaged from HIV care. Recommendation: The project model shows promise as a prevention strategy to reduce HIV transmission and increase access to care for high risk communities.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe the implementation steps and key components of the Bridge Project Model 2) Identify key lessons learned and project outcomes from the Bridge Project intervention

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Vulnerable Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently the Director of Research and Evaluation for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. He holds a Ph.D. in Clinical/Community Psychology and a Masters in Public Health. I have been the Principal investigator of a five-year federally funded research study integrating mental health, substance abuse and primary care services for HIV triply diagnosed patients. I have been a project evaluator for numberous HIV prevention and care inntervention.
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.

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