Use of Rapid Behavioral Assessments to Determine the Prevalence of HIV Risk Behaviors in High-Risk Populations

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SYNOPSISRapid HIV Behavioral Assessment (RHBA) is a method for collecting muchneeded information about sexual, drug-use, and HIV testing behaviors from people at high risk for HIV infection in areas with low-to-moderate HIV prevalence.During 2004, RHBAs were conducted in seven small to moderate-sized cities in the United States during Gay Pride events. Anonymous 10-minute interviews were administered to eligible attendees using handheld computers. Depending on the city, between 47% and 97% of individuals approached agreed to hear more about the survey. Enrollment rates exceeded 90% in every location.RHBAs conducted during 2004 were well received by the gay and public health communities. They were simple to organize and administer, flexible, and cost-efficient, suggesting that this approach holds promise for expansion to additional high-risk groups and geographic locations. RHBAs can provide state and local health departments with demographic and behavioral data that can be used to design, target, and evaluate local HIV prevention programs.

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