Blocks: an innovative community-based, block-by-block approach to identify unknown cases of HIV in New York City
Presented by Sara Gillen (United States).
Z. Naqvi1, S. Gillen1, E. Aponte1, V. Mojica1, P. McGovern2
1Harlem United Community AIDS Center, Inc., Prevention Division - Testing Services, New York, United States, 2Harlem United Community AIDS Center, Inc., New York, United States
Historically, HIV prevention efforts have focused on using approaches that target populations-at-risk. Research suggests these approaches may be less effective in high-prevalence (1 in 37or 2. 7%) communities where, at least 1 out of the 5 positive people are unaware of their status1. Therefore, to promote routine testing, a block-by-block rapid HIV testing campaign was established to eliminate barriers and provide routine HIV testing for all residents.
Intervention method: Using epidemiological and program data, we identified high-impact zones. We trained peer educators and community organizers to conduct systematic outreach. These staff blanketed the area with HIV prevention messages through direct and non-direct means. We also set up mobile HIV testing in the area(s) week. Although, Blocks team moved to different zones to expand outreach after 4 months, we return to reinforce messages and provide testing.
Results: During a 2 year period our workers interacted with more than 10,000 individuals in the our targeted 'Blocks”. 4, 867 individuals were tested for HIV in the first year with a sero- positivity of 2.2 % and 3, 714 individual with a sero-positivity of 1.6% in year 2. Self-reported data indicated that more that 50% of the clients who tested positive were older men who perceived their HIV risk to be low prior to the test. Further community based data revealed a significant modification of beliefs & practices
Conclusion: We have found that this geographic- based- approach identifies previously undiagnosed HIV cases principally among older men and women who do not accurately perceive their HIV risk.
Back to the session -
Back to the Programme-at-a-Glance