Background: Evaluators collected formative data to inform development of a school-centered HIV prevention program for 13-to-19 year old black and Latino young men who have sex with men (YMSM).
Methods: Data were collected from a convenience sample of 13-19 year old black and Latino YMSM attending community-based organizations in New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco using Web-based surveys (n=415). Surveys addressed HIV and STD prevention service use/preferences and related school experiences. Data analyses included descriptive statistics and chi-square tests.
Results: In the last year, 72.0% of participants had been tested for HIV (10.7% at school and 5.5% at a school clinic), and 65.8% had tested for STDs (13.2% at school and 8.7% at a school clinic). 30.0% of participants received free condoms at school, and 12.6% received them from a school clinic in the last year. If testing services were offered at school, 64.4% of participants said they would use HIV testing and 66.6% said they would use STD testing. 81.7% of participants said they would access free condoms at school, if available. When asked who at school they would talk to about HIV testing, 37.8% of participants said a school nurse, 31.3% said a school counselor, and 30.8% said they would not talk to any staff member. Percentages were similar for who participants would talk to about STD testing (37.1%, 29.8%, and 30.1%, respectively) and about condoms (37.3%, 32.3%, and 28.3%, respectively). Only 13.3% of participants reported being willing to talk to school nurses about being attracted to other guys; more participants (38.3%) were willing to talk to counselors about this.
Conclusions: Some YMSM access HIV and STD testing and prevention services at school; additional youth report willingness to use such services if available. Findings inform development of school-centered HIV and STD prevention programs, including key staff to involve.