At a Glance
The odds for effectively detecting HIV in African-American men vary by method, researchers have found. The study, which appears in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, suggests that HIV-prevention efforts must be multi-faceted, taking into account differences in within this demographic.
To do so, they examined three different avenues for testing among African American MSM in New York City and looked at which methods showed the highest rates of positive HIV tests. By linking a method for getting tested with positive HIV results, the researchers could then better understand which methods were most likely to identify new HIV cases.
The three approaches for HIV testing included the following:
· Partner services, which involves identifying, locating, and interviewing HIV-infected persons to provide names and contact information of their sex and needle-sharing partners, notifying partners of their exposure to HIV, and providing HIV counseling, testing, and referral services to those partners;
· Alternative venue testing, in which rapid HIV testing is conducted in bars, churches, or mobile units;
· The social networks strategy, where HIV testers engage either HIV-positive individuals or those at high risk of seroconversion to become “recruiters.” Through active enlistment and coaching processes, staff build relationships and help recruiters engage people in their social circles into HIV testing.
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