Objectives: We assessed awareness of and preferences for rapid HIV testing among young, urban men of color who have sex with men and are engaged in high-risk behaviors for HIV.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in New York City among 177 young men who have sex with men (MSM).
Results: Among the 85% of the participants who had previously undergone HIV testing, 43% reported rapid testing at their most recent test. In terms of future tests, 64% would seek rapid testing, as compared with 36% who preferred traditional testing. Those who preferred rapid testing were significantly more likely to have attended at least some college, to have discussed HIV testing with a sexual partner, to be aware of rapid testing, and to have had a previous HIV test.
Conclusions: In general, young MSM of color seem aware of rapid testing. However, our results indicate the need to carefully consider the unique needs of those who are particularly disenfranchised or engaged in high-risk behaviors and who may need concerted efforts around HIV counseling and testing. Likewise, our findings point to a need for more effective education and social marketing strategies.