Take the test to the people.
Rapid HIV testing conducted in community settings provides
opportunities to identify infected individuals who would otherwise not
know that they are HIV-positive and to point them toward treatment
services, according to results of a two-year demonstration project
funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (1) The
project, conducted by community-based organizations in seven cities,
recruited participants at places where people considered to be at high
risk socialize, live or seek medical services; it tested nearly 24,000
individuals. Most participants were male (63%) and were black or
Hispanic (70%); 60% had seen a health care provider in the past year,
but 50% lacked insurance. During the past year, 66% had had multiple sex
partners, 17% had had male-male sex and 6% had injected drugs. Seven in
10 participants had had an HIV test before, but almost half of these had
not been tested within the last year. Overall, 1% tested positive for
HIV; of those who had a confirmatory test, 93% were infected.
Three-quarters of participants who tested positive returned for their
confirmatory results, and nine in 10 of those who returned accepted
referrals for medical care.
(1.) Aguirre D et al., Rapid HIV testing in outreach and other
community settings-United States, 2004-2006, Morbidity and Mortality
Weekly Report, 2007, 56(47):1233-1237.