HIV Testing

HIV testing is the key to identifying people living with HIV and linking them to care. However, many of the groups at the highest risk for HIV infection have little, if any, contact with the health care systems. Community and public health organizations have developed a range of strategies in response to this reality.

  • Offering testing in health care venues where high-risk populations may interact with the health care system (emergency rooms, STD clinics, family planning clinics).
  • Outreach-based approaches where testing is offered in community settings such as health fairs, gay pride testing tents, bathhouses, clubs, schools, and mobile vans.

Some agencies use the approach of offering HIV testing along with other health screenings to send the message that it is a normal part of preventive care. 

HIV test counselors are at the front line of linkage and engagement in care, so make sure yours are well trained and able to connect with the community you seek to serve. 

An Approach from the Original STYLE

Project STYLE used testing parties to bring people together in a supportive and fun environment. This was before the era of rapid testing, when results weren't available for a week or more. This approach makes less sense today, when testing technology has changed. 

Integrated Outreach, Testing, and Linkage to Care

APEB mobile van
APEB used the CDC's Testing Makes Us Stronger campaign images for their van wrapper.

As a community-based health care and support organization, APEB's in-house staff conduct outreach and HIV and STD testing. Their approach includes event and venue-based outreach as well as on-site testing for community members. They have a mobile van and go out to neighborhoods without good access to care. 

APEB'S HealthLink provides referral and navigation services for at risk and HIV positive community members. HealthLink is an essential component to ensure that those testing positive are linked to care. Those who test negative are provided prevention referrals, including for PrEP or nPEP.

Download HealthLink Flowchart

Download HealthLink Logic Model

DownLOAD HealthLink Linkage and Navigation Services Presentation