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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Bathhouse distribution of HIV self-testing kits reaches diverse, high-risk population

  • Author(s): Woods, WJ
  • Lippman, SA
  • Agnew, E
  • Carroll, S
  • Binson, D
  • et al.

© 2016 The Author(s). We distributed free OraQuick In-home HIV Test® kits to men at a gay bathhouse. Men were systematically selected to receive a coupon, which could be redeemed that night for an HIV self-testing kit. Those offered the coupon were asked to take an 11-item survey. About 181 men received coupons, of whom 92 (51%) accepted the coupon, and 61 (66%) men redeemed the coupon. Those who redeemed test kits and completed a survey (n = 53) were more ethnically diverse (χ2= 100.69, p <.01) than those receiving the coupon. More than half had not tested in the past 6 months (50%) or never tested (7%). Importantly, men who had never tested or who last tested more than 6 months ago were among those most likely to take the free test kit. We found bathhouse distribution could reach a population of men who have sex with men most in need of improved access to HIV testing. Future studies should consider means of improved follow-up and linkage to care for those who test positive.

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