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Community HIV testing for men who have sex with men: results of a pilot project and comparison of service users with those testing in genitourinary medicine clinics

Sexually Transmitted Infections, 2009, 85:145-147 (doi: 10.1136/sti.2008.032359).

Authors: Angela C Bailey, Jonathan Roberts, Peter Weatherburn, Ford Hickson, David S Reid, Martin Fisher, Gillian Dean

Abstract

Objectives: To report results of a community HIV testing pilot (fasTest) targeting MSM in Brighton and compare service-users with those testing in GUM services.

Methods: FasTest offers rapid HIV testing in a weekly evening drop-in session staffed by GUM professionals in a community organisation. It was prospectively evaluated from November 2004 to March 2006 using a self-completed paper questionnaire assessing demographics, previous use of GUM, HIV testing history and sexual behaviour. Follow-up through GUM/HIV services was monitored. A simplified questionnaire was completed by MSM accessing the GUM clinic over the same time period. Men were included in the analysis if they identified as gay or bisexual or had recent sex with a man, tested for HIV and received a result. Client groups were compared using chi-square, one-way ANOVA and logistic regression for multivariate analysis.

Results: FasTest performed 338 HIV tests in 316 clients. 280/294 men completing questionnaires met inclusion criteria. In GUM, 187/271 men completing the questionnaire met inclusion criteria. Both groups of men reported high rates of unprotected anal sex in the last 3 months (47% GUM vs 45.8% fasTest, p=0.4). FasTest clients were significantly younger (p=0.024) and less likely to test positive for HIV (3.2% positive vs of 9.1% GUM (p=0.007). This difference was independent of age and HIV testing history. There was no difference in rates of recent infection between the 2 groups (33% fasTest vs 47% GUM, p=0.4).

Copyright © 2009 by the BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.

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