Yale University

Off-Site Sexually Transmitted Infection Testing for Connecticut Men Who Have Sex with Men

Funder: CIRA
Project period: 08/13/2010 - 08/12/2011
Grant Type: Pilot Project

Abstract Text:

During 2001-2006 MSM remained the largest transmission category for HIV and the only one among which the number of new diagnoses of HIV infection increased. The number of HIV diagnoses among MSM has increased substantially over the past decade, disproportionately among African-American MSM exacerbating an already stark disparity by race among MSM (CDC 2008). Incidence of bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among MSM, particularly syphilis, has surged from prior lows, and most sharply among men who are HIV infected. Reflecting the national trend, greater incidence of syphilis has been documented among MSM in Connecticut. Despite clear need, provision of diagnostic services to this population has been inadequate. CDC recommends that sexually active MSM test at least annually for HIV, and annually for bacterial STIs. However, few MSM or their healthcare providers meet these goals. Studies in large U.S. cities show off-site STI testing (OT) in gay venues to be a powerful tool in diagnosing HIV and other STI infection, particularly among African-American MSM. We wish to assess whether offering OT in gay bars serving a largely minority clientele in a smaller city, New Haven, CT will 1) test 80 MSM over a 12-month period, 2) diagnose STIS among men who rarely or never access STI testing. AIDS Project New Haven (APNH), along with the South Central Rehabilitation Center (SCRC) to provide counseling and testing services. SCRC will oversee APNH’s development as an independent provider of STI testing. SCRC has a long history of success in providing STI testing to low-income communities of color. APNH’s strong historical standing in the New Haven gay community, including to men of color, and the SCRC’s strong track record of providing quality STI healthcare to disenfranchised populations, point to the proposed project’s excellent prospect for success and APNH’s development as a collaborator in prevention research in a population at increasingly acute risk for HIV infection.

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