AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 19, Issue 10, pp 1888–1895 | Cite as

Finding HIV in Hard to Reach Populations: Mobile HIV Testing and Geospatial Mapping in Umlazi Township, Durban, South Africa

  • Ingrid V. Bassett
  • Susan Regan
  • Hlengiwe Mbonambi
  • Jeffrey Blossom
  • Stacy Bogan
  • Benjamin Bearnot
  • Marion Robine
  • Rochelle P. Walensky
  • Bright Mhlongo
  • Kenneth A. Freedberg
  • Hilary Thulare
  • Elena Losina
Original Paper

Abstract

Mobile, community-based HIV testing may help achieve universal HIV testing in South Africa. We compared the yield, geographic distribution, and demographic characteristics of populations tested by mobile- and clinic-based HIV testing programs deployed by iThembalabantu Clinic in Durban, South Africa. From July to November 2011, 4,701 subjects were tested; HIV prevalence was 35 % among IPHC testers and 10 % among mobile testers (p < 0.001). Mobile testers varied in mean age (22–37 years) and % males (26–67 %). HIV prevalence at mobile sites ranged from 0 to 26 %. Testers traveled further than the clinic closest to their home; mobile testers were more likely to test ≥5 km away from home. Mobile HIV testing can improve testing access and identify testing sites with high HIV prevalence. Individuals often access mobile testing sites farther from home than their nearest clinic. Geospatial techniques can help optimize deployment of mobile units to maximize yield in hard-to-reach populations.

Keywords

Geospatial analysis HIV mobile testing South Africa 

Resumen

La prueba del VIH que es móvil y basada en la comunidad puede ayudar a lograr prueba universal del VIH en Sudáfrica. Se comparó el rendimiento, la distribución geográfica y las características demográficas de las poblaciones probadas por programas y móviles por la clínica basada en pruebas de VIH desplegados por la Clínica iThembalabantu en Durban, Sudáfrica. De julio a noviembre de 2011, 4.701 sujetos fueron evaluados; la prevalencia del VIH fue del 35 % entre los probadores en la clinica y el 10 % entre los probadores móviles (p < 0,001). Probadores móviles variaron en edad media (22–37 años) y los hombres (26–67 %). La prevalencia del VIH en los sitios móviles osciló de 0 a 26 %. Probadores viajaron más allá de la clínica más cercana a su hogar; probadores móviles eran más propensos a probar ≥5 km de casa. Pruebas de VIH móvil puede mejorar el acceso de pruebas e identificar sitios de prueba con alta prevalencia de VIH. Las personas a menudo acceden a sitios de pruebas móviles más lejos de casa que su clínica más cercana. Técnicas geoespaciales pueden ayudar a optimizar el despliegue de unidades móviles para maximizar el rendimiento en poblaciones de difícil acceso.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ingrid V. Bassett
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 6
  • Susan Regan
    • 1
  • Hlengiwe Mbonambi
    • 4
  • Jeffrey Blossom
    • 5
  • Stacy Bogan
    • 5
  • Benjamin Bearnot
    • 6
  • Marion Robine
    • 1
  • Rochelle P. Walensky
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
  • Bright Mhlongo
    • 4
  • Kenneth A. Freedberg
    • 1
    • 3
    • 6
    • 7
  • Hilary Thulare
    • 4
  • Elena Losina
    • 1
    • 3
    • 9
    • 10
  1. 1.Medical Practice Evaluation CenterMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Division of Infectious DiseasesMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  3. 3.Harvard Center for AIDS ResearchHarvard UniversityBostonUSA
  4. 4.iThembalabantu People’s Hope Clinic/AIDS Healthcare FoundationDurbanSouth Africa
  5. 5.Harvard Center for Geographic AnalysisCambridgeUSA
  6. 6.Department of MedicineMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  7. 7.Division of General Internal MedicineMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  8. 8.Division of Infectious DiseasesBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  9. 9.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  10. 10.Department of BiostatisticsBoston University School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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