Online Program

Reaching previously untested men who have sex with men: A public health imperative

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 1:30 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.

W. Alexander Orr, MPH, U.S. Health Division, Abt Associates, Durham, NC
Liza Solomon, MHS, DrPH, U.S. Health Division, Abt Associates, Bethesda, MD
Chanza Baytop, MPH, DrPH, U.S. Health Division, Abt Associates, Bethesda, MD
Chris Flygare, MA, U.S. Health Division, Abt Associates, Cambridge, MD
Lauren Olsho, PhD, US Health Division, Abt Associates Inc., Cambridge, MA
Joseph Gasper, PhD, U.S. Health Division, Abt Associates, Bethesda, MD
Patrick Sullivan, DVM, PhD, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Luke Shouse, MD, MPH, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Elizabeth DiNenno, PhD, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Background:  CDC estimates that in 2012, 163,300, or 14%, of all persons living with HIV were unaware of their infection. Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at particularly high risk for HIV, yet many MSM do not know their HIV status. HIV testing is the key entry point to receiving effective treatment for HIV.

Methods: The goal of the MSM Testing Initiative (MTI) is to identify previously undiagnosed HIV-positive MSM and provide referral to care. Community organizations across the U.S. utilized five unique strategies: venue based testing, social network strategies, couples counseling and testing, home-based HIV tests, and episodic testing events.  We examined demographic and testing location differences between previously untested and tested MSM using the Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel test.

Results:Of 60,467 MSM tested, 5,085 (8%) had not been previously tested. Compared to those with a previous test, previously untested men were significantly more likely to have reported sex with men and women (p <.0001); be tested at public areas (parks or “strolls”, p< .05), gay-oriented events (e.g., circuit parties) (p<.0001), or through home-testing (p<.0001); or be young (<25 years old, p<.0001) or Black or Hispanic (p <.0001).

Conclusions: Previously untested MSM were more likely to be young, Black or Hispanic, and encountered in public areas such as parks or “strolls”, or through home-based testing. Effective testing programs targeting MSM at high risk for infection should consider testing in locations that reach these populations through non-traditional testing modalities.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the findings of a HIV testing initiative for reaching previously undiagnosed MSM. Identify characteristics of previously untested MSM. Discuss the implications of targeting specific venues to reach previously untested MSM.

Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT)

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the Deputy Project Director and Project Manager of this initiative for 4 years. I have over 12 years of experience in qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis studying health behavior among high-risk and marginalized populations, specifically individuals who are homeless; substance-abusing; or who have or are at high risk for HIV/AIDS.
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.