Background: The burden of HIV and STD infection disproportionally impacts racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities including men who have sex with men (MSM). Community-based testing is an efficient, culturally-competent and cost-effective approach to provide HIV screening to populations most at risk. We sought to describe the outcomes associated with integrating STD and hepatitis C screening with rapid HIV testing amongst populations served by the South Beach AIDS Project (SoBAP), the only gay minority HIV prevention agency in Florida.
Methods: We reviewed program data from January 2011-June 2012. Clients who wanted to utilize SoBAP resources were encouraged to make an appointment, but walk-in services were also provided.
Results: A total of 2988 tests were administered from January 2011 through June 2012 including rapid HIV (2260), syphilis (384), chlamydia and gonorrhea (18), and hepatitis C (326). The majority of clients were male (77%) and nearly half were MSM (48.7%), mean age of 35 years and predominantly Latino (56.7%). HIV and syphilis positivity were 3.3% and 3.4% respectively. Both MSM (2.8%) and MSMW (4.9%) had a higher HIV test positivity when compared to other sexual risk behavior groups. HIV rates among individuals who were Latino (2.5%) or Black (1.7%) were higher than among whites (1.2%). All individuals who tested positive for syphilis were male, with Latinos having double the positivity of non-Latino whites (4.3% vs. 2.2%). There were 4 cases of hepatitis C infection, and one positive case of gonorrhea.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest MSM of color are disproportionately affected by HIV and STDs in Miami. Future efforts to understand the trends in syphilis infection in the SoBAP testing program are warranted. Strengthening the capacity of community-based organizations to conduct their own monitoring and evaluation should be a public health priority.