Background: In 2012, the recruitment model used by Louisiana’s merged STD/HIV Program (SHP) was modified to mirror the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. The HIV outreach program and the STD testing program combined recruitment using targeted methods to refer people for STD testing. Requiring a minimum of 10% of all recruitment encounters resulting in referrals, which expand targeted prevention efforts in identified communities, establishes a seamless system to link people to continuous/coordinated care, and enhances community level approaches to reduce STDs; Thus increasing STD referrals and stronger relationships with service providers/clinics to increase communities accessing and receiving treatment.
Methods: The resulting holistic approach to recruitment, integrating HIV with STDs, places more emphasis on the interrelatedness of them. Surveillance data identified high prevalence zip codes and the CBOs identified outreach areas within the high prevalence zip codes. Recruitment teams were trained, observed, and conducted the intervention by having ‘encounters,’ or lengthy dialog regarding health and wellness, with target population members in specific, mapped neighborhoods. Recruitment daily logs reported the results of the recruitment, including numbers of referrals for HIV/STD testing made and accessed.
Results: In 2012-2013, a total of 283 referrals were made from recruitment encounters: 14% were made to STD screening and treatment. Evaluation data show that most STD referrals made from face-to-face recruitment encounters are among men who have sex with men (MSM) and African Americans.
Conclusions: These data collection methods are able to evaluate and determine effectiveness of recruitment for STD testing. Annual STD specific trainings to providers and clinics and reinforcing referrals for HIV/STD testing during recruitment are part of ongoing technical assistance.