Background: Despite National HIV/AIDS Strategy and CDC recommendations to intensify community-based HIV testing and outreach, a 2008 study found approximately 10% of community-based agencies offered HIV testing. Because young urban minority males are at risk for HIV and are less likely to attend more traditional healthcare settings, we sought to 1) determine the proportion of youth-serving community-based agencies offering HIV testing; and 2) characterize agencies offering (vs. not offering) HIV testing including whether they serve young minority males.
Methods: GIS mapping of census and STD surveillance data was used to select areas of residence and STD/HIV needs of target population (e.g., minority males aged 15-24).Of 141 potential agencies in select areas, 106 agencies (75%) were found to work with target population to complete a phone survey. Of these, 60% (62) were reached (20 closed; 24 pending). Among those reached, 90% (56) completed surveys (6 refused). Frequency of items was generated and non-parametric testing was conducted to compare agencies by HIV testing status.
Results: 83% (43) were community-based organizations and 15% (8) were recreation centers. 42% (22) reported offering HIV testing and 65%-70% (36) reported serving target population. Among agencies offering HIV tests, 23% (12) reported on-site testing, while 77% (40) reported testing by an external agency. Agencies offering (vs. not offering) HIV testing were more likely to be a community center; offer groups with target population; work with GLBT youth; offer other health services (e.g., provide condoms), greater perceptions of staff knowledge about young men’s SRH and SRH care services and greater comfort talking about sex (all p’s<.05).
Conclusions: A substantial proportion of youth-serving agencies in areas with a high proportion of young minority males and STD/HIV needs reported offering HIV testing. However, providing and expanding HIV testing is a continued need and tools to support this expansion are needed.