• Compliance with a New York State 2010 HIV Testing Law: Is There Racial/Ethnic Bias in HIV Testing? Experience of Monroe County, New York, 2012

      Kennedy, Byron S.; Kern, Anne; Ricci, John; Younge, Mary; Carelock, Kathy; Bedard, Brenden A.; Smith, Kim; Inscho, Roxana; Monroe County Department of Public Health; The College at Brockport (2016-01-01)
      Background: While routine HIV testing in the general population is a national recommendation, actual practice may vary. Purpose: To determine risk factors associated with HIV testing after the adoption of a New York State law in 2010 mandating that healthcare providers offer HIV testing in all clinical settings. Methods.: Survey data from Monroe County, New York, were collected in 2012 for adults aged 18-64 years and analyzed in 2014. Logistic regression was used to identify risk factors independently associated with HIV testing and high-risk behavior. Results: Among adults aged 18-34 years, fewer Whites were offered HIV testing in the past year by their doctors compared with Blacks (34% vs 64%) despite having similar rates of any HIV high-risk behavior (20% overall). For adults aged 35-64 years, fewer Whites than Blacks were ever tested for HIV (42% vs 71%), offered HIV testing in past year (17% vs 40%), and reported any HIV high-risk behavior (3% vs 13%). Latinos showed intermediate levels. With logistic regression analysis, ever tested for HIV was independently associated with only race/ethnicity; offered HIV testing in the past year was associated with females, Blacks and Latinos, aged 18-34 years, and having a routine health checkup in past year; any HIV high-risk behavior was associated with only younger age. Conclusions: To improve HIV testing rates as well as compliance with state laws and national guidelines, targeted efforts should be considered that improve perceptions of risk and emphasize the value of routine HIV screening, including those directed at white adults and their health care providers.
    • Using Smartphone Apps in STD Interviews to Find Sexual Partners

      Pennise, Melissa; Inscho, Roxana; Herpin, Kate; Owens, John; Bedard, Brenden A.; Weimer, Anita C.; Kennedy, Byron S.; Younge, Mary; Monroe County Department of Public Health; The College at Brockport (2015-06-01)
      Objectives. Smartphone applications (apps) are increasingly used to facilitate casual sexual relationships, increasing the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In STD investigations, traditional contact elicitation methods can be enhanced with smartphone technology during field interviews. Methods. In 2013, the Monroe County Department of Public Health conducted a large, multi-infection STD investigation among men who have sex with men (MSM) using both index case and cluster interviews. When patients indicated meeting sexual partners online, disease intervention specialists (DISs) had access to smartphone apps and were able to elicit partners through access to inboxes and profiles where traditional contact information was lacking. Social network mapping was used to display the extent of the investigation and the impact of access to smartphones on the investigation. Results. A total of 14 index patient interviews and two cluster interviews were conducted; 97 individuals were identified among 117 sexual dyads. On average, eight partners were elicited per interview (range: 1–31). The seven individuals who used apps to find partners had an average of three Internet partners (range: 1–5). Thirty-six individuals either had a new STD (n=7) or were previously known to be HIV-positive (n=29). Of the 117 sexual dyads, 21 (18%) originated either online (n=8) or with a smartphone app (n=13). Of those originating online or with a smartphone app, six (29%) partners were located using the smartphone and two (10%) were notified of their exposure via a website. Three of the new STD/HIV cases were among partners who met online. Conclusion. Smartphone technology used by DISs in the field improved contact elicitation and resulted in successful partner notification and case finding.