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.
Future Virology 02/2015; 10(2):63-66. DOI:10.2217/fvl.14.110 · 1.00 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The African American church is a community-based organization that is integral to the lives, beliefs, and behaviors of the African American community. Engaging this vital institution as a primary setting for HIV testing and referral would significantly impact the epidemic. The disproportionately high HIV incidence rate among African Americans dictates the national priority for promotion of early and routine HIV testing, and suggests engaging community-based organizations in this endeavor. However, few multilevel HIV testing frameworks have been developed, tested, and evaluated within the African American church. This article proposes one such framework for promoting HIV testing and referral within African American churches. A qualitative study was employed to examine the perceptions, beliefs, knowledge, and behaviors related to understanding involvement in church-based HIV testing. A total of four focus groups with church leaders and four in-depth interviews with pastors, were conducted between November 2012 and June 2013 to identify the constructs most important to supporting Philadelphia churches' involvement in HIV testing, referral, and linkage to care. The data generated from this study were analyzed using a grounded theory approach and used to develop and refine a multilevel framework for identifying factors impacting church-based HIV testing and referral and to ultimately support capacity building among African American churches to promote HIV testing and linkage to care.AIDS PATIENT CARE and STDs 02/2015; 29(2):69-76. DOI:10.1089/apc.2014.0160 · 3.58 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background There is a large and disproportionate burden of HIV in black men who have sex with men (MSM) which is not adequately explained by racial/ethnic differences in risk behaviors. However, social factors may account for this disparity in HIV infection. We examine the extent to which both individual risk behaviors and social factors reduce the effect of black race and may account for the disparity in HIV infection of black MSM. Methods In a cross-sectional study in New York City in 2011, MSM were venue sampled, interviewed, and HIV tested. Variables associated (P < 0.10) both with black race and testing HIV positive were analyzed using multivariate logistic regression. Results Of 416 participants who were HIV tested and did not self-report being positive, 19.5% were black, 41.1% were Hispanic, 30.5% were white, and 8.9% were of other race/ethnicity. Overall, 8.7% tested positive (24.7% of blacks, 7.6% of Hispanics, 1.0% of whites, and 5.4% of other). The effect of black race versus non-black race/ethnicity with testing HIV positive declined by 49.2%, (crude odds ratio, 6.5 [95% confidence interval, 3.2-13.3] vs. adjusted odds ratio, 3.3 [95% confidence interval, 1.5-7.5]), after adjustment for having a black last sex partner, not having tested for HIV in the past 12 months, Brooklyn residency, and having an annual income less than US$20,000. Conclusions Greater HIV infection risk of black MSM may result from social factors and less frequent HIV testing than from differences in risk behaviors. To reduce the disparity in HIV infection of black MSM, multilevel interventions that both ameliorate social risk factors and increase the frequency of HIV testing are needed.Sex Transm Dis 07/2014; 41(7):433-439. DOI:10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000144 · 2.75 Impact Factor