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AIDS Research and Treatment
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 789413, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/789413
Research Article

Point-of-Care HIV Testing and Linkage in an Urban Cohort in the Southern US

1University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, 845 19th Street South, Bevill Biomedical Research Building 206B, Birmingham, AL 35294-2170, USA
2University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Public Health, Department of Biostatistics, 1665 University Boulevard, RPHB 514-A, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
3University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, 908 20th Street South, CCB 188, Birmingham, AL 35294-2050, USA
4University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, 908 20th Street South, CCB 245, Birmingham, AL 35294-2050, USA

Received 15 March 2013; Revised 14 June 2013; Accepted 23 July 2013

Academic Editor: Bryce D. Smith

Copyright © 2013 Anne Zinski et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The Southern states experience the highest rates of HIV and AIDS in the US, and point-of-care (POC) testing outside of primary care may contribute to status awareness in medically underserved populations in this region. To evaluate POC screening and linkage to care at an urban south site, analyses were performed on a dataset of 3,651 individuals from an integrated rapid-result HIV testing and linkage program to describe this test-seeking cohort and determine trends associated with screening, results, and linkage to care. Four percent of the population had positive results. We observed significant differences by test result for age, race and gender, reported risk behaviors, test location, and motivation for screening. The overall linkage rate was 86%, and we found significant differences for clients who were linked to HIV care versus persons whose linkage could not be confirmed with respect to race and gender, location, and motivation. The linkage rate for POC testing that included a comprehensive intake visit and colocated primary care services for in-state residents was 97%. Additional research on integrated POC screening and linkage methodologies that provide intake services at time of testing is essential for increasing status awareness and improving linkage to HIV care in the US.