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Evaluation of a Targeted HIV Testing Program for At-Risk Youth


With the advent of new therapies for HIV, case identification through HIV counseling and testing (CTS) has become critically important. Young women, youth of color, and disenfranchised youth are at significant risk of acquiring HIV. This study describes clients who access CTS at a program of comprehensive care for high-risk youth (aged 12 to 24 years), and assessed, using logistic regression analyses, whether youth at highest risk utilized CTS. Most of the 531 youth were female (72 percent) and nonwhite (60 percent). Sixty-eight percent received CTS. Logistic regression modeling revealed that white race and receiving care at the teaching hospital were the only independent predictors of testing. Data indicate that, despite targeted, youth-specific, developmentally appropriate and culturally sensitive outreach and intervention efforts, youth of color and high-risk youth are poorly accessing CTS. A greater understanding of the barriers to and cultural norms regarding CTS is needed.

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