Accessibility of HIV Services in Philadelphia: Location-Allocation Analysis

Jessica L. Webster, Lorna E. Thorpe, Dustin T. Duncan, Neal D. Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: As the first step in the HIV care continuum, timely diagnosis is central to reducing transmission of the virus and ending the HIV epidemic. Studies have shown that distance from a testing site is essential for ease of access to services and educational material. This study shows how location-allocation analysis can be used to improve allocation of HIV testing services utilizing existing publicly available data from 2015 to 2019 on HIV prevalence, testing site location, and factors related to HIV in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Methods: The ArcGIS Location-Allocation analytic tool was used to calculate locations for HIV testing sites using a method that minimizes the distance between demand-point locations and service facilities. ZIP code level demand was initially specified on the basis of the percentage of late HIV diagnoses and in a sensitivity analysis on the basis of a composite of multiple factors. Travel time and distance from demand to facilities determined the facility location allocation. This analysis was conducted from 2021 to 2022. Results: Compared with the 37 facilities located in 20 (43%) Philadelphia ZIP codes, the model proposed reallocating testing facilities to 37 (79%) ZIP codes using percent late diagnoses to define demand. On average, this would reduce distance to the facilities by 65% and travel time to the facilities by 56%. Results using the sensitivity analysis were similar. Conclusions: A wider distribution of HIV testing services across the city of Philadelphia may reduce distance and travel time to facilities, improve accessibility of testing, and in turn increase the percentage of people with knowledge of their status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1053-1061
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of preventive medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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