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Not all HIV testing methods are the same, according to a new study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, and disease prevention methods in the African American community should focus on incorporating a number of testing approaches.
Researchers from New York University analyzed three different methods of identifying new cases of HIV-infected men who have sex with men, a recognized high-risk group. One involved contacting all the sexual partners of individuals who recently tested positive. Another brought HIV testing to places frequented by high-risk men. The last used newly diagnosed men to advocate for testing among members of their community.
The results showed that each method had its own strengths and weaknesses. This led the researchers to recommend that prevention strategies involve all of the above to engage the highest number of individuals possible.
"HIV prevention efforts must not view African American men who have sex with men as a monolith but rather as a diverse group of individuals, where differences in developmental stage and sexual identity are crucial factors in understanding the risk behaviors," said Perry Halkitis, who led the study.
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