March 19, 1997

Community-Based HIV Prevention in Presumably Underserved Populations—July-September 1995

JAMA. 1997;277(11):876-877. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540350026012

PERSONS whose behaviors may increase their risk for infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) but who may be underserved by existing HIV prevention and testing programs (in part because of limited access) include those who are homeless,1,2 chemically dependent but not in treatment,3,4 and mentally ill.5 To assess the prevalence of highrisk behaviors for HIV infection, the acceptance of HIV counseling and testing, and HIV seropositivity in such populations in Colorado Springs, Colorado (1995 population: 465 885), the El Paso County Department of Health and Environment (EPCDHE) conducted a study during July-September 1995. This report summarizes the results of the study, which indicate that such presumably underserved persons are accessible, commonly report high-risk behaviors, and previously have been tested for HIV infection and that social isolation, in part, accounted for the low seroprevalence of HIV in this study population.

During July-September 1995, two sexually transmitted