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HIV Epidemiology Program
HIV Testing Surveys (HITS)
Two separate HIV Testing Surveys were conducted to assess experiences regarding the willingness of persons at high risk for HIV infection to pursue HIV testing.
HITS 1 was conducted in Arizona from July 1, 1995 through June 18 1996. Joining Arizona were seven other state health departments along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and the University of California, San Francisco.
The specific aims of the study were the following:
- to assess the relationship of named reporting policies on the willingness of at-risk persons to obtain HIV testing;
- perceived obstacles to HIV testing; and
- knowledge of HIV testing and reporting laws and policies.
Individuals considered at high risk for becoming infected with HIV were asked to participate in face-to-face, anonymous interviews. Three groups were recruited for this study:
- high risk heterosexuals seeking treatment in the Maricopa County STD clinic;
- homosexual/bisexual men in gay bars in Phoenix and Tucson; and
- injecting drug users recruiting through regular street outreach done by a local drug treatment center in the Phoenix metropolitan area.
100 individuals were interviewed in each group for a total of 300.
HITS 2, conducted from August 1998 through February 1999, was modified from the original HITS 1 in the following ways:
- knowledge of HIV reporting laws and barriers to seeking HIV testing was de-emphasized;
- HITS 2 will be used as a surveillance methodology for monitoring behaviors that put persons at increased risk for HIV; and
- the study will help evaluate the impact of recent events on the individual's decision to seek HIV testing, for instance the availability of drug therapies that have significantly improved the prognosis of HIV infected persons; improved HIV testing technology (e.g., the availability of home collection kits and OraSure) and the CDC recommendation that all states implement named HIV reporting.
Three-hundred HITS 2 surveys were completed.
Analysis of aggregate HITS data: