Background: Over 1.1 million people are living with HIV in the US. HIV testing and services along the continuum of care are necessary to curb the epidemic. STD clinics serve economically disadvantaged persons at high risk seeking confidential STD and HIV services.
Methods: In 2011, CDC funded HIV testing in 59 jurisdictions. Data submitted by grantees through April 5, 2013 were analyzed (SAS, V9.3), including population descriptives and bivariate analyses examining associations between demographic and HIV indicators from 55 jurisdictions.
Results: In 2011, 19% (462,671) of CDC-funded HIV tests in healthcare settings were conducted in STD clinics. STD clinics accounted for 25.8% of newly identified confirmed HIV positives; 41.7% of these new cases were linked to care; 58.3% were referred to partner services. People in the South (61%) and 20-29 year olds (49.9%) were more likely to be tested than other regions and age groups (p<.001). African Americans were more likely to be tested (50.9% vs. 29.2%) and identified as newly confirmed HIV positive (.82% vs. .41%) than whites but were less likely to be linked (33.3% vs. 50.5%), p<.001. Hispanics/Latinos were more likely to be identified as newly confirmed HIV-positive (.72% vs. .41%), p<.001 and linked (65.2% vs. 50.45%), p=.002 than whites. Finally, MSM (3.99%) were more likely to be identified as newly confirmed HIV-positive than heterosexual men (.31%) and women (.23%) at high risk, p<.001, but there were no differences in linkage (MSM: 47.42%; men at high risk: 45.78%; women at high risk: 48.49%), p>.05.
Conclusions: Although linkage and referral percentages need improvement, STD clinics appear successful at serving populations disproportionately affected by HIV/STDs and prioritized in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (MSM, African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos). Since access to medical services may be limited, specifically for sexual health, STD clinics provide an avenue for service provision to populations at high risk.