Community-based rapid HIV testing in homeless and marginally housed adults in San Francisco

J. B. Buchér, K. M. Thomas, D. Guzman, E. Riley, N. Dela Cruz, David R. Bangsberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Standard two-step HIV testing is limited by poor return-for-results rates and misses high-risk individuals who do not access conventional testing facilities. Methods: We describe a community-based rapid HIV testing programme in which homeless and marginally housed adults recruited from shelters, free meal programmes and single room occupancy hotels in San Francisco received OraQuick Rapid HIV-1 Antibody testing (OraSure Technologies, Bethlehem, PA, USA). Results: Over 8 months, 1614 adults were invited to participate and 1213 (75.2%) underwent testing. HIV seroprevalence was 15.4% (187 of 1213 individuals) overall and 3.5% (37 of 1063) amongst high-risk individuals reporting no previous testing, a prior negative test, or previous testing without result disclosure. All 1213 participants received their results. Of 30 newly diagnosed persons who received confirmatory results, 26 (86.7%) reported at least one contact with a primary healthcare provider in the 6 months following diagnosis. Conclusions: We conclude that community-based rapid testing is feasible, acceptable and effective based on the numbers of high-risk persons tested over a short period, the participation rate, the prevalence of new infection, the rate of result disclosure, and the proportion linked to care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-31
Number of pages4
JournalHIV Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Access to care
  • Homelessness
  • Substance abuse
  • Urban health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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