This article was originally published here
Educ. AIDS Prev. 2022 Apr;34(2):99-115. doi: 10.1521/aeap.2022.34.2.99.
The national initiative “Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America” supports the expansion of testing in jurisdictions and groups with a disproportionate burden of HIV. Public health planners benefit from learning about the strengths, challenges and innovations of the HIV testing service (HTS). We conducted semi-structured interviews with 120 HTS staff from local health departments, community organizations, and community members in Houston, Texas; Miami, Florida; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Washington, DC. We coded interview transcripts using qualitative methods to identify themes. Program strengths include integration of HIV testing with other client services; priority testing and tailored incentives; multiple advertising methods; and partnerships between SDV providers. Challenges include stigma, fear and disparities; funding requirements that create competition among providers; and accessibility of services, unnecessary repeated testing and insufficient innovation. All four jurisdictions have addressed some, but not all, of these challenges. Intergovernmental collaboration, with state and federal partners, and program data can help identify additional strategies to strengthen the CDS.