Understanding the Targeting and Uptake of HIV Testing Among Gay and Bisexual Men Attending Sexual Health Clinics
We assessed trends in HIV testing outcomes during a period of clinic-based initiatives introduced to increase HIV testing among gay and bisexual men (GBM) attending sexual health clinics (SHCs) in New South Wales (NSW). A cohort of 25,487 HIV-negative GBM attending 32 SHCs in NSW (2009–2015) was classified into six sub-groups each year based on client-type (new/existing), risk-status (low/high-risk), and any recent HIV testing. Poisson regression methods were used to assess HIV testing outcomes in sub-groups of GBM. HIV testing outcomes and the sub-groups with greatest statistically significant annual increases were: individuals attending (26% in high-risk existing clients with recent testing); testing uptake (4% in low-risk existing clients with no recent testing); testing frequency (6% in low-risk existing clients with no recent testing and 5% in high-risk existing clients with recent testing); and total tests (31% in high-risk existing clients with recent testing). High-risk existing clients with recent testing had a 13% annual increase in the proportional contribution to total tests. Our findings show improved targeting of testing to high-risk GBM at NSW SHCs. The clinic-based initiatives should be considered for translation to other similar settings.
KeywordsMSM Gay men High-risk HIV Testing Sexual health clinics
ACCESS Steering Committee members who are not co-authors: Lewis Marshall, David Wilson, Bridget Dickson, Marlene Kong, and Lucy Watchirs Smith. NSW Partnership Project Steering Committee members who are not co-authors: David Cooper, Christine Selvey, Jo Holden, Levinia Crooks, Craig Cooper, Karen Price, John de Wit, Anthony Kelleher, Jo Mitchell, Heather-Marie Schmidt, Barbara Telfer, and Bill Whittaker. The ACCESS Project received funding from the health departments of New South Wales, Victoria, Australian Capital Territory, and the North Territory. The analysis was also supported by NSW Partnership Project which received funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (Partnership Project Grant #1092852), the NSW department of Health, and UNSW Sydney. We acknowledge the contribution of CaraData for their assistance in extracting data and also acknowledge all clinics and clinical staff who provided data for this study.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of study formal consent is not required.
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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