Increasing HIV testing among hard-to-reach groups: examination of RAPID, a community-based testing service in Queensland, Australia

Mutch, Allyson J., Lui, Chi-Wai, Dean, Judith, Mao, Limin, Lemoire, Jime, Debattista, Joseph, Howard, Chris, Whittaker, Andrea and Fitzgerald, Lisa (2017) Increasing HIV testing among hard-to-reach groups: examination of RAPID, a community-based testing service in Queensland, Australia. BMC Health Services Research, 17 1: 310. doi:10.1186/s12913-017-2249-5


Author Mutch, Allyson J.
Lui, Chi-Wai
Dean, Judith
Mao, Limin
Lemoire, Jime
Debattista, Joseph
Howard, Chris
Whittaker, Andrea
Fitzgerald, Lisa
Title Increasing HIV testing among hard-to-reach groups: examination of RAPID, a community-based testing service in Queensland, Australia
Journal name BMC Health Services Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1472-6963
Publication date 2017-04-28
Year available 2017
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/s12913-017-2249-5
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 17
Issue 1
Start page 310
Total pages 7
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Language eng
Subject 2719 Health Policy
Abstract Background: The success of 'treatment as prevention' (TasP) to control HIV relies on the uptake of testing across priority population groups. Innovative strategies including; rapid HIV testing (RHT) in community and outreach settings, engaging peer service providers, and not requiring disclosure of sexual history have been designed to increase access. This paper reports on the implementation of 'RAPID', a community-based testing program in Queensland, Australia that employs these strategies to increase access to testing.
Formatted abstract
Background: The success of ‘treatment as prevention’ (TasP) to control HIV relies on the uptake of testing across priority population groups. Innovative strategies including; rapid HIV testing (RHT) in community and outreach settings, engaging peer service providers, and not requiring disclosure of sexual history have been designed to increase access. This paper reports on the implementation of ‘RAPID’, a community-based testing program in Queensland, Australia that employs these strategies to increase access to testing.

Methods: Service data, including client registration forms and a satisfaction survey from all clients attending RAPID between August 2014 and July 2015 were analysed.

Results: In 2014/2015 1,199 people attended RAPID to receive a free HIV test. The majority were urban-based gay men. 17.1% were first-time testers and 20.1% of participants were not eligible to access Medicare, Australia’s universal health care scheme.

Conclusions: RAPID’s evidence-based strategies appear to facilitate access to HIV testing, particularly among those who have never tested before; however the implications for the ongoing treatment and care of people ineligible for Medicare, who test positive to HIV warrants careful consideration.
Keyword HIV testing models
Peer led
Rapid testing
STI
Treatment as prevention
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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