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AIDS Research and Treatment
Volume 2014, Article ID 803685, 7 pages
Research Article

HIV Testing and Counselling in Colombia: Local Experience on Two Different Recruitment Strategies to Better Reach Low Socioeconomic Status Communities

1Corporación de Lucha Contra el Sida (CLS), Grupo Educación y Salud en VIH/SIDA, Carrera 56 2-120, Cali, Colombia
2The Canada-Colombia Collaboration against HIV/AIDS (CCC-HIV), Carrera 56 2-120, Cali, Colombia
3Faculty of Health Sciences, Universidad del Cauca, Calle 5 4-70, Popayán, Colombia
4Department of Public Health Sciences, Queen’s University, Carruthers Hall, Kingston, ON, Canada
5Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Queen’s University, Etherington Hall, Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 3N6

Received 16 July 2013; Revised 9 November 2013; Accepted 3 December 2013; Published 30 January 2014

Academic Editor: Rosanna W. Peeling

Copyright © 2014 Jaime Galindo-Quintero 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.


HIV testing rates remain very low in Colombia, with only 20% of individuals at risk ever tested. In order to tackle this issue, the Corporacion de Lucha Contra el Sida (CLS) has implemented a multidisciplinary, provider-initiated, population-based HIV testing/counselling strategy named BAFI. In this report, we describe the experience of CLS at reaching populations from low socioeconomic backgrounds in 2008-2009. Two different approaches were used: one led by CLS and local health care providers (BAFI-1) and the other by CLS and community leaders (BAFI-2). Both approaches included the following: consented HIV screening test, a demographic questionnaire, self-reported HIV knowledge and behaviour questionnaires, pre- and posttest counselling, confirmatory HIV tests, clinical follow-up, access to comprehensive care and antiretroviral treatment. A total of 2085 individuals were enrolled in BAFI-1 and 363 in BAFI-2. The effectiveness indicators for BAFI-1 and BAFI-2, respectively, were HIV positive-confirmed prevalence = 0.29% and 3.86%, return rate for confirmatory results = 62.5% and 93.7%, return rate for comprehensive care = 83.3% and 92.8%, and ART initiation rate = 20% and 76.9%. Although more people were reached with BAFI-1, the community-led BAFI-2 was more effective at reaching individuals with a higher prevalence of behavioural risk factors for HIV infection.