Objective: To test whether "venue-based testing" could identify human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in US youth, 12 to 24 years of age, who were otherwise not aware of their infection. Racial and ethnic minority women and men who have sex with men (WSM and MSM) compose the majority of new HIV cases among adolescents and young adults.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Setting: Selected venues in communities surrounding the 15 Adolescent Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions (ATN) clinical sites over a 3-month period.
Participants: At each venue, ATN sites recruited 20 to 30 English- or Spanish-speaking at-risk youth (12 to 24 years of age), resulting in a total of 1217 study participants, including 611 MSM and 606 WSM. Intervention Venue-based HIV testing with 2 components: an anonymous audio computer-assisted self-administered interview and an anonymous HIV antibody assay.
Main outcome measure: The prevalence of HIV infection in MSM and WSM.
Results: The prevalence of HIV infection in MSM and WSM was 15.3% and 0.3%, respectively. Sixty percent of the MSM and 100% of the WSM claimed to not know of their infection.
Conclusion: Venue-based testing may be an important strategy to identify HIV-infected younger MSM; however, other strategies are needed for WSM.