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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
January 23, 2008

Rapid HIV Testing in Outreach and Other Community Settings—United States, 2004-2006

JAMA. 2008;299(3):280-282. doi:10.1001/jama.299.3.280

MMWR. 2007;56:1233-1237

1 figure, 1 table omitted

In 2003, an estimated 1 million persons in the United States were living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.1 Approximately 25% were unaware of their infection1 ; however, that percentage might have been greater among persons at high risk for HIV infection, including racial/ethnic minority populations.2,3 To increase the proportion of persons aware of their HIV serostatus, CDC launched the Advancing HIV Prevention initiative in 2003.4 One strategy of the initiative is to implement new models for diagnosing HIV infections outside medical settings. During 2004-2006, CDC funded a demonstration project to provide rapid HIV testing and referral to medical care, targeted to racial/ethnic minority populations and others at high risk in outreach and other community settings. This report summarizes the results of that project, which indicated that, of 23,900 clients who received a rapid HIV test, 39% were non-Hispanic blacks, 31% were Hispanics, 17% reported male-male sex, and 6% were injection-drug users. A total of 267 (1%) persons had confirmed HIV-positive test results; of these, 195 (74%) were either non-Hispanic blacks or Hispanics. The project results demonstrate that rapid HIV testing in outreach and other community settings can identify large numbers of persons in racial/ethnic minority populations and others at high risk who are unaware they are infected with HIV.

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