Evaluation of the relative effectiveness of three HIV testing strategies targeting African American men who have sex with men (MSM) in New York City.
ABSTRACT African American men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately affected by HIV and constitute more than half of all HIV-infected MSM in the USA.
Data from the New York City location of a multi-site study were used to evaluate the effectiveness of three HIV testing strategies for detecting previously undiagnosed, 18 to 64-year-old African American MSM. Effectiveness was defined as the identification of seropositive individuals.
Using a quasi-experimental design (N = 558), we examined HIV-positive test results for men tested via alternative venue testing, the social networks strategy, and partner counseling and referral services, as well as behavioral risk factors for 509 men tested through alternative venue testing and the social networks strategy.
Detection rates of HIV-positives were: alternative venue testing-6.3%, the social networks strategy-19.3%, and partner services-14.3%. The odds for detection of HIV-positive MSM were 3.6 times greater for the social networks strategy and 2.5 times greater for partner services than alternative venue testing. Men tested through alternative venue testing were younger and more likely to be gay-identified than men tested through the social networks strategy. Men who tested through the social networks strategy reported more sexual risk behaviors than men tested through alternative venue testing.
Findings suggest differential effectiveness of testing strategies. Given differences in the individuals accessing testing across strategies, a multi-strategic testing approach may be needed to most fully identify undiagnosed HIV-positive African American MSM.
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ABSTRACT: HIV disproportionately affects African American men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States. To inform this epidemiological pattern, we examined cross-sectional sexual behavior data in 509 African American MSM. Bivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the extent to which age, education, and sexual identity explain the likelihood of engaging in sex with a partner of a specific gender and the likelihood of engaging in unprotected sexual behaviors based on partner gender. Across all partner gender types, unprotected sexual behaviors were more likely to be reported by men with lower education. Younger, non-gay identified men were more likely to engage in unprotected sexual behaviors with transgender partners, while older, non-gay identified men were more likely to engage in unprotected sexual behaviors with women. African American MSM do not represent a monolithic group in their sexual behaviors, highlighting the need to target HIV prevention efforts to different subsets of African American MSM communities as appropriate.AIDS and Behavior 02/2012; DOI:10.1007/s10461-012-0139-8 · 3.49 Impact Factor