HIV counseling and testing at five community-based organizations among young black men who have sex with men, 2005-2006

Published: August 31, 2010

HIV counseling and testing at five community-based organizations among young black men who have sex with men, 2005-2006

K. Green-Raleigh, R. Stein, F. Hardnett, G. Uhl, G. Shelley, A. Moore

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Atlanta, United States

Background: In the United States, the incidence and prevalence rates of HIV infection are disproportionately higher for black men who have sex with men (BMSM) than for other racial/ethnic groups of MSM. HIV testing continues to be a critical underpinning of HIV prevention in the United States, and little is known about the provision of HIV testing services to young BMSM by community-based organizations (CBOs).
Methods: From 2001 through 2006, The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded 27 CBOs to provide HIV prevention programs to young men of color who have sex with men. Five of these CBOs provided HIV testing services and received additional funding to collect and submit data monthly from 2005 through 2006 on the HIV tests provided to young MSM. This analysis is restricted to tests provided to young BMSM between the ages of 13 and 29.
Results: CBOs provided 476 tests to young BMSM aged 13 to 29. The mean age of testers was 21.4 (SD =3.74). Approximately 2.7% of tests were positive and 2.1% of tests were unrecognized HIV infections. The highest proportion of unrecognized HIV infections were among young BMSM aged 25-29 (6.7%). Of tests provided to young BMSM, 67.7% were to men who reported sex with a person of unknown HIV status, 38.5% were to men who reported sex with an anonymous partner, and 24% were to men who reported sex with a female. Among the 476 tests, 42.2% were first-time testers.
Conclusions: CBOs were able to recruit young BMSM at risk for HIV into HIV testing services, including first-time testers. Testing programs should target BMSM between the ages of 25 and 29 to reach men unaware that they are HIV positive. Future government funding should continue supporting HIV testing programs at CBOs, particularly those serving BMSM.
 

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