P166 HIP HOP for HIV: A Community-Based Service Integration Strategy

Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Pre-Function Lobby & Grand Ballroom D2/E (M4) (Omni Hotel)
Marlene McNeese-Ward, BS, Bureau of HIV/STD/and Viral Hepatitis Prevention, Houston Department of Health and Human Services, Houston, TX, Beau Mitts, MPH, Bureau of HIV/STD and Viral Hepatitis Prevention, Houston Department of Health and Human Services, Houston, TX and Nike Lukan, MPH, Prevention Services, AIDS Foundation Houston, Houston, TX

Background: According to the Centers for Disease Control young people ages of 13-29 have the highest amount of new HIV infections (34%).  In 2007 the City of Houston ranked second in the nation in new Primary and Secondary syphilis cases and the State of Texas ranked #1.  Lack of routine HIV and STD testing increases the potential risk for infection within this age group, especially among minorities.

Objectives: 2009 marked the third annual public/private partnership providing free and confidential testing to 15,000 youth and young adults in Houston.   HIV/STD educational groups were conducted and all individuals fully participating in the entire intervention received a free HIP HOP concert ticket. 

Methods: Community organizations, advocacy groups, skilled staff and volunteers, along with support provided through the local health department and other private entities coordinated testing events in high prevalence zip codes throughout the city.  One local radio station coordinated performance artists, promotional materials, and venue support for the concert.

Results: From June to July 2009, 14, 471 youth and young adults were screened for HIV; of those 3,466 for syphilis, and 821 for gonorrhea and Chlamydia.  Overall positivity rates for HIV were .6%, 7% for syphilis and 20% for GC and Chlamydia. 

Conclusions: Easily accessible and incentivized screening options are effective mechanisms for high acceptance rates of public health strategies among youth.  Through KAB evaluations that were administered, youth were able to access culturally competent education, testing and medical treatment services in a way that they could understand while expressing that the intervention was a good use of their time.

Implications for Programs, Policy, and/or Research: This service integration model demonstrates that more opportunities to screen for multiple infections improves medical care and outcomes.  Innovative strategies to encourage youth can lead to normalization of screening for HIV and STDs.  Structural interventions and prevention projects need to be designed with the consumer in mind.

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