Missed Opportunities for HIV Testing in Health Care Settings Among Young African American Men Who Have Sex with Men: Implications for the HIV Epidemic.

Published: September 16, 2011


Abstract Limited health care access and missed opportunities for HIV and other sexually transmitted infection (STI) education and testing in health care settings may contribute to risk of HIV infection. In 2008, we conducted a case-control study of African American men who have sex with men (MSM) in a southeastern city (Jackson, Mississippi) with an increase in numbers of newly reported HIV cases. Our aims were to evaluate associations between health care and HIV infection and to identify missed opportunities for HIV/STI testing. We queried 40 potential HIV-infected cases and 936 potential HIV-uninfected controls for participation in this study. Study enrollees included HIV-infected cases (n=30) and HIV-uninfected controls (n=95) who consented to participate and responded to a self-administered computerized survey about sexual risk behaviors and health care utilization. We used bivariate analysis and logistic regression to test for associations between potential risk factors and HIV infection. Cases were more likely than controls to lack health insurance (odds ratio [OR]=2.5; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.1-5.7), lack a primary care provider (OR=6.3; CI=2.3-16.8), and to not have received advice about HIV or STI testing or prevention (OR=5.4; CI=1.3-21.5) or disclose their sexual identity (OR=7.0; CI=1.6-29.2) to a health care provider. In multivariate analysis, lacking a primary health care provider (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=4.5; CI=1.4-14.7) and not disclosing sexual identity to a health care provider (AOR=8.6; CI=1.8-40.0) were independent risk factors for HIV infection among African American MSM. HIV prevention interventions for African American MSM should address access to primary health care providers for HIV/STI prevention and testing services and the need for increased discussions about sexual health, sexual identity, and sexual behaviors between providers and patients in an effort to reduce HIV incidence and HIV-related health disparities.

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