Can Home-Based HIV Rapid Testing Reduce HIV Disparities Among African Americans in Miami?

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Abstract

Sixty percent of African Americans have had an HIV test, yet this population disproportionately contributes to AIDS mortality, suggesting that testing is not occurring early enough to achieve optimal outcomes. OraQuick, the first Food and Drug Administration–approved home-based HIV rapid test (HBHRT) could potentially increase testing rates. We assessed whether community health workers (CHWs) paired with HBRHT could improve HIV screening and health care access among African Americans in Miami, Florida. In October-November 2013, 60 African Americans were enrolled and randomized to the experimental condition, which received CHW assistance to complete HBHRT, or the control condition, which were instructed to complete HBHRT independently. Intervention participants were significantly (p ≤ .05) more likely than control participants to complete HBHRT and, if positive, get linked to HIV care (100% vs. 83%) χ2 (1, N = 60) = 5.46, p ≤ .02. We concluded that CHW-assisted HBHRT may be a promising strategy to improve HIV testing and care among African Americans.

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