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Assessing the Impact of a Community-Wide HIV Testing Scale-Up Initiative in a Major Urban Epidemic

Myers, Julie E. MD, MPH*,†; Braunstein, Sarah L. PhD, MPH; Shepard, Colin W. MD; Cutler, Blayne H. MD, PhD; Mantsios, Andrea R. MHS; Sweeney, Monica M. MD, MPH; Tsoi, Benjamin W. MD, MPH

JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes: September 1st, 2012 - Volume 61 - Issue 1 - p 23–31
doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3182632960
Clinical Science

Background: The Bronx, one of 5 boroughs in New York City (NYC), bears a high burden of HIV. We evaluated the impact of HIV testing initiatives in the Bronx, including the 2008 The Bronx Knows campaign.

Methods: We used data from an annual telephone survey representative of NYC adults to compare 2005 and 2009 estimates of HIV testing prevalence among Bronx residents and to identify correlates of testing. We used NYC HIV surveillance data to evaluate changes in the percentage of persons concurrently being diagnosed with HIV and AIDS, an indicator of delayed HIV diagnosis.

Results: Between 2005 and 2009, relative increases of 14% and 32% were found in the proportion of Bronx adults who have ever been HIV tested and who have been tested in the past year, respectively (P < 0.001). The largest increases were among those aged 24–44 years, men, non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics, and those with low income or education, nonheterosexual identity, a personal doctor/provider, or health insurance. Factors independently associated with being recently tested included black or other race, Hispanic ethnicity, and bisexual identity. The proportion concurrently diagnosed with HIV and AIDS fell 22% from 2005 to 2009, and decreases generally occurred among subgroups experiencing increases in testing.

Conclusion: Community-wide testing in the Bronx increased the proportion of people with known HIV status and reduced the proportion with delayed diagnoses.

*Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, New York

Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Queens, NY.

Correspondence to: Julie E. Myers, MD, MPH, Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 42-09 28th Street, 22nd Floor, Queens, NY 11101 (e-mail:

Supported by a National Institutes of Health Training Grant T32AI049821-09 (to J. E. Myers).

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Received January 11, 2012

Accepted June 5, 2012

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.