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PHR Article of the Week: Rapid HIV Testing at Gay Pride Events to Reach Previously Untested MSM: U.S., 2009-2010

In the latest issue of Public Health Reports, July/August 2014, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and ICF International members Dr. Rennatus Mdodo, Dr. Peter Thomas, Ms. Anissa Walker, Dr. Pollyanna Chavez, Mr. Steven Ethridge, Ms. Emeka Oraka, and Dr. Madeline Sutton conducted a study on the rapid HIV testing at gay pride events to reach previously untested MSM, U.S., 2009-2010.

Among people living with HIV, young non-Hispanic Black men who have sex with men (MSM) are the only group with significant increases in incident HIV cases in recent years. Although young non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic MSM are more likely to report being tested, they are also more likely to be unaware of an HIV infection than their White counterparts. MSM with increased risk of HIV exposure may benefit from increased access to HIV screening in nontraditional/clinical settings.

Tests to 1,312 MSM were administered and of those MSM, 1,072 (81.7%) reported HIV testing history. Of those reporting HIV testing history, 550 (51.3%) were non-Hispanic Black and 404 (37.7%) were aged <25 years. One hundred twenty-eight (11.9%) had never tested for HIV; 77 (7.2%) were preliminarily positive, with 15 (19.5%) being first time testers. Factors associated with no previous HIV test included young age (13–24 years) (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 5 3.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.9, 6.5) and non-Hispanic Black (AOR53.2, 95% CI 1.6, 6.4) or Hispanic (AOR52.8, 95% CI 1.2, 6.3) race/ethnicity.

The study demonstrates that offering HIV testing at nonclinical sociocultural events can be a useful strategy, especially for reaching untested young racial/ethnic minority MSM. Testing at these nonclinical venues can be an important additional tool to increase HIV awareness and reduce racial/ethnic HIV-related disparities.

This week’s PHR feature article, Rapid HIV Testing at Gay Pride Events to Reach Previously Untested MSM, U.S. 2009-2010, will be open access through August 14. For full access to current content, visit the Public Health Reports website to subscribe.