Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 818–824 | Cite as

Engaging African and Caribbean Immigrants in HIV Testing and Care in a Large US City: Lessons Learned from the African Diaspora Health Initiative

  • Helena A. KwakwaEmail author
  • Rahab Wahome
  • Djalika S. Goines
  • Voffee Jabateh
  • Arraina Green
  • Sophia Bessias
  • Timothy P. Flanigan
Original Paper


The lifting in 2010 of the HIV entry ban eliminated an access point for HIV testing of the foreign-born. The African Diaspora Health Initiative (ADHI) was developed to examine alternative pathways to testing for African and Caribbean persons. The ADHI consists of Clinics Without Walls (CWW) held in community settings. HIV testing is offered to participants along with hypertension and diabetes screening. A survey is administered to participants. Descriptive data were analyzed using SAS 9.2. Between 2011 and 2015, 4152 African and Caribbean individuals participated in 352 CWW. Participants were mostly (67.7 %) African. HIV rates were lowest in Caribbean women (0.4 %) and highest in Caribbean men (8.4 %). Efforts to engage African and Caribbean communities in HIV testing are important given the elimination of the HIV entry ban and continued immigration to the US from areas of higher prevalence. The ADHI offers a successful model of engagement.


African Caribbean HIV US Screening 



The authors thank all leaders of Philadelphia’s African and Caribbean communities who supported this project. We are grateful to Dr. Kwame Dapaah-Afriyie, Director of the Hospital Medicine Program at the Miriam Hospital, Brown University for his guidance in preparing this manuscript. This project was funded in part by a grant from the Gilead Sciences FOCUS program to the AIDS Care Group.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helena A. Kwakwa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rahab Wahome
    • 2
  • Djalika S. Goines
    • 3
  • Voffee Jabateh
    • 3
  • Arraina Green
    • 1
  • Sophia Bessias
    • 1
  • Timothy P. Flanigan
    • 4
  1. 1.Ambulatory Health Services, Philadelphia Department of Public HealthPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.AIDS Care GroupSharon HillUSA
  3. 3.African Cultural Alliance of North AmericaPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Infectious DiseasesBrown University School of MedicineProvidenceUSA

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