2A 5 Taking HIV Testing to Those at the Highest Risk: Testing in Non-Traditional Venues through Outreach in Baltimore, Maryland

Tuesday, June 10, 2014: 3:40 PM
Grand Ballroom A/B/C/D1
Tanya Myers, MPH, Bureau of STD/HIV Prevention, Baltimore City Health Department, Baltimore, MD, Ravikiran Muvva, MPH, MPA, MBBS, Bureau of HIV/STD Prevention, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore City Health Department, Baltimore, MD, Carolyn Nganga-good, RN MS CPH, Bureau of HIV/STD Prevention, Baltimore City Health Department, Baltimore, MD, Hilda Ndirangu, MHS, CPH, STD/ HIV Prevention Bureau, Baltimore City Health Department, Baltimore, MD and Nathan Fields, Staying alive coordinator, Bureau of std/hiv prevention, Baltimore City Health department, baltimore, MD

Background: HIV/AIDS is an ongoing concern in Baltimore City; in 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked the Baltimore Metropolitan Area sixth highest for new HIV diagnoses. The majority of new cases of HIV are occurring among African American gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) community outreach program has been hosting testing and care referral events for the LGBT population in a safe environment.  The impact of testing at numerous non-traditional venues was evaluated by examining the yield of confirmed positives in 2011 and 2012 by venue type.

Methods: Client-specific data, including demographics, risk factors, venue information, and laboratory results are entered into electronic management information systems. Testing data from 2011 and 2012 were analyzed to establish the number of confirmed positives and their risk profiles. These venues were grouped into the following categories: LGBT-focused venues, BCHD-sponsored LGBT events, homeless services, substance abuse treatment centers, schools, festivals and health fairs, correctional facilities, and street-based venues.

Results: BCHD-sponsored LGBT events yielded the highest number of confirmed positives among all venues, with an HIV positivity rate of 11.16%. The second highest yield (2.78%) was from LGBT-focused venues. The least productive venues were homeless services, festivals and health fairs, colleges and youth centers with positivity rates of 1.66%, 1.23% and 0.26% respectively.

Conclusions: Outreach testing in venues that cater to LGBT individuals yielded the highest number of new confirmed HIV cases in Baltimore City. The BCHD-sponsored LGBT events also provided a safe and enjoyable atmosphere of comfort and trust. Other testing locations allowed BCHD to link and re-engage individuals to care. This analysis has helped the outreach program to minimize testing in non productive venues, thus improving cost-effectiveness. Health Departments need to consider sponsoring targeted testing venues as a great way of reaching high risk populations.