Marya Viorst Gwadz, Charles M. Cleland, Robert Quiles,
David Nish, John Welch, Lucky S. Michaels, Jose L. Gonzalez,
Amanda S. Ritchie, and Noelle R. Leonard

The study’s aims were to describe rapid and conventional HIV testing practices and referrals/linkages to services posttest among homeless youth in New York City. We also examined variation among service-involved youth, street youth, and “nomads.” Respondent-driven sampling was used to recruit 217 homeless youth who participated in structured interviews. Almost all youth were tested in the past year (82%). Most received pretest/posttest(> 77%). Rapid testing was common and conducted in diverse
settings. However, youth reported that rates of referral/linkage to services posttest were low (< 44.4%). Service-involved youth were significantly more likely to receive rapid testing, be tested in the past year, and be tested at a high frequency. Street youth and nomads, those at highest risk for poor health outcomes, had less access to testing and may require creative, low-threshold services. Further, a better understanding of barriers to the use of referrals/linkages to services posttest is needed.

HIV disproportionately affects young people (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2008). In 2006, more new HIV infections in the United States occurred in young people aged 13-29 (34%) than any other age group (Hall et al., 2008). Homeless youth, a large and growing population (1-2 million annually) (U.S.
Department of Education, 2000), are at very high risk for acquiring HIV. HIV seroprevalence is estimated to be 2-10 times higher among homeless youth than in adolescents generally (Allen et al., 1994; Beech, Myers, Beech, & Kernick, 2003).

Marya Viorst Gwadz, Robert Quiles, Amanda S. Ritchie, and Noelle R. Leonard are with the New York University College of Nursing, New York, NY. Charles M. Cleland is with the National Development andResearch Institutes, Inc., New York, NY. David Nish, and Jose L. Gonzalez are with Safe Horizon, New York. John Welch is with Safe Horizon Streetwork Lower East Side, New York. Lucky S. Michaels is with MCCNY Homeless Youth Services, New York.

This study was supported by the Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR)], Grant 106872-42-RGAT. The authors thank the young women and men who participated in this study and the staff at the Safe Horizon/Streetwork Project, MCCNY Homeless Youth Services, and the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research(CDUHR) at the New York University College of Nursing.

AIDS Education and Prevention, 22(4), 312–327, 2010
© 2010 The Guilford Press

If anybody would like to read the full findings of this paper, I would be more than happy to assist you in being able to have access to a copy of the document. Lucky

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