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