Scope of Rapid HIV Testing in Private Nonprofit Urban Community Health Settings in the United States
Published In: American Journal of Public Health, v. 98, no. 4, Apr. 1, 2008, p. 736-742
OBJECTIVES: The authors examined patterns of rapid HIV testing in a multistage national random sample of private, nonprofit, urban community clinics and community-based organizations to determine the extent of rapid HIV test availability outside the public health system. METHODS: The authors randomly sampled 12 primary metropolitan statistical areas in 4 regions; 746 sites were randomly sampled across areas and telephoned. Staff at 575 of the sites (78%) were reached, of which 375 were eligible and subsequently interviewed from 2005 to 2006. RESULTS: Seventeen percent of the sites offered rapid HIV tests (22% of clinics, 10% of community-based organizations). In multivariate models, rapid test availability was more likely among community clinics in the South (vs West), clinics in high HIV/AIDS prevalence areas, clinics with on-site laboratories and multiple locations, and clinics that performed other diagnostic tests. CONCLUSIONS: Rapid HIV tests were provided infrequently in private, nonprofit, urban community settings. Policies that encourage greater diffusion of rapid testing are needed, especially in community-based organizations and venues with fewer resources and less access to laboratories.