“I have your results”: Delivering evaluation data to HIV/STI testing sites regarding issues of LGBT sensitivity and inclusivity
Methods: We assessed testing sites in a five-county region of the Midwest on measures of LGBT inclusiveness. Five gay-identified evaluators “secret shopped” 47 HIV/STI testing sites, receiving HIV/STI tests as actual clients. Afterwards, evaluators completed a 50-item questionnaire and offered a qualitative impression of their experiences. At the end of data collection, we sent each site a letter describing our process and encouraging them to schedule a meeting to discuss the shoppers’ experiences at their agency. We offered a packet of personalized results, summarizing how they compared on various quantitative indicators to other sites, and providing feedback from the open-ended portion of the evaluation.
Results: Agency staff were eager for feedback; sixty-six percent of the sites requested to meet. Some staff admitted nervousness at receiving results, yet stated they ultimately wanted a chance to improve services. With few exceptions, agencies welcomed suggestions for creating more inclusive environments. They nevertheless identified barriers to doing so, including issues of funding, space, and hierarchical bureaucratic structures.
Conclusions: We discuss steps for moving toward greater sensitivity with LGBT clients and offer concrete suggestions for practitioners hoping to create a more welcoming testing environment.
Learning Areas:Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research
Describe 3 concrete ways to make HIV/STI testing sites more inclusive towards LGBT individuals. Discuss potential barriers to implementing LGBT inclusive policies and procedures at HIV/STI testing sites. Articulate best practices when conducting evaluations of LGBT inclusivity at HIV/STI testing sites.
Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, STDs/STI
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the managing director of Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities and was involved in each step of the research. I have five years of experience working in the field of HIV with young men who have sex with men. I have published and presented on current issues in the field of HIV many times in the past.
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.