Online Program

Results of congregation-based HIV testing in los angeles, California

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 9:10 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Malcolm Williams, MPP, PhD, Health, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA
Frances Aunon, Health, RAND, Santa Monica, CA
Kathryn Pitkin Derose, PhD, MPH, Health Program, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA
Alexandria Smith, MPH, Health Program, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA
Background. HIV is a critical health concern, but many infected persons are unaware of their status because they have not been tested. Despite documented disparities, many African Americans and Latinos remain untested, due in part to poor access to medical services. One way to increase screening is to expand testing services to community settings, but questions remain about the feasibility of doing so in religious congregations. Methods. The sample is comprised of persons surveyed at community-based testing events held at five churches in Los Angeles County, CA. In order to make comparisons of the population of testers in the sample to overall data for residents of LA County, data from 2 additional sources were analyzed: the 2007 LA County Health Survey and the 2011 California Health Interview Survey. Results. There were 323 persons were screened for HIV at 11 testing events. More women tested (55%) than men. Very few testers were above age 51. About one-third had previously tested for HIV; and most had 1 sex partner in the previous 12 months. Few had ever used injection drugs (1%) or were homeless (3%); most (95%) reported being heterosexual. A large proportion of testers (44%) including more than half of the Latinos in the sample had no insurance. Conclusion. This research highlights results of community based HIV testing at churches. Despite not identifying a large number of previously undiagnosed persons with HIV, access to testing was expanded for African American and Latino residents in LA County¬ópopulations with high needs for testing.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Identify the risk behaviors and demographic characteristics of people who participated in HIV screening at several congregation-based testing events

Keyword(s): Access to Care, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a PhD in health policy and over 15 years experience provididng services and conducting research on health issues including HIV. I have specific research expertise on the roles that congregations can play in HIV.
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.