CDC HIV testing guidelines and the rapid and conventional testing practices of homeless youth

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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 counseling (> 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, lowthreshold services. Further, a better understanding of barriers to the use of referrals/linkages to services posttest is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-327
Number of pages16
JournalAIDS Education and Prevention
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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