First name
Stephen
Last name
Bonett

Title

Strengthening HIV Prevention Services Through an Implementation Science Approach: Perspectives From the HIV Testers in Philadelphia.

Year of Publication

2022

Number of Pages

S90-S97

Date Published

07/2022

ISSN Number

1944-7884

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Strengthening HIV prevention services is a key priority of the Ending the HIV Epidemic plan. Informed by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research, we examined HIV testers' perceived barriers and facilitators to implementing HIV prevention services, including testers' strengths and weaknesses; enabling factors within the inner and outer settings; and willingness to adopt potential implementation strategies.

METHODS: In 2019, the Penn Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) partnered with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) to examine system-level challenges and opportunities experienced by PDPH-funded HIV testers (individuals conducting HIV testing) in Philadelphia. We recruited HIV testers to complete 2 web surveys (n ≈ 40 each) and in-depth interviews (n = 11).

RESULTS: Testers self-reported high HIV testing self-efficacy and competence, despite identifying gaps in their knowledge of STI testing, reporting moderate willingness to recommend pre-exposure prophylaxis, and having insufficient cultural competency when working with priority populations. Testers indicated that educational materials and policies within their agencies might require realignment to affirm sexual and gender minority clients. In qualitative interviews, testers noted challenges to implementing PDPH priorities because limited funding fueled competition between local agencies, deterred interagency partnerships, and limited their ability to serve key populations locally.

DISCUSSION: HIV testers are critical partners in addressing agency-level barriers to HIV prevention service provision through multilevel implementation strategies. In partnership with PDPH, we will create and implement a train-the-trainers program consisting of skill-building activities, technical assistance, and capacity-building for all agency personnel to address missed opportunities in HIV prevention. These activities will reinforce scalability and sustainability of PDPH-supported HIV prevention programs.

DOI

10.1097/QAI.0000000000002969

Alternate Title

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr

PMID

35703760

Title

Chlamydia Trachomatis/Neisseria Gonorrhea Retesting Among Adolescents and Young Adults in a Primary Care Network.

Year of Publication

2022

Date Published

08/2022

ISSN Number

1879-1972

Abstract

PURPOSE: Chlamydia trachomatis/Neisseria gonorrhea (CT/NG) retesting three months after diagnosis is a guideline-recommended strategy to detect re-infections. Adolescents and young adults are priority populations in the U.S. Sexually Transmitted Infections National Strategic Plan, but there is a lack of research examining CT/NG retesting among these populations. This study describes retesting following CT/NG diagnosis among adolescent and young adult patients at Title X and non-Title X clinics and measures the association of patient-level factors with CT/NG retesting.

METHODS: We evaluated electronic medical records from 2014 to 2020 from an academic urban-suburban primary care network. The primary outcome was retesting, defined as a diagnostic test for CT or NG ordered 8-16 weeks after index diagnosis. Mixed effects logistic regression modeling stratified by Title X funding was conducted to evaluate the association of patient-level factors with CT/NT retesting.

RESULTS: Overall, 23.5% (n = 731) of patients were retested within 8-16 weeks following index CT/NG diagnosis. A significantly greater proportion of Title X patients were retested compared to non-Title X patients. Males were significantly less likely to be retested compared to females, and the proportion of patients retested decreased significantly over the study period.

DISCUSSION: Guideline-recommended retesting following CT/NG diagnosis was low in this young primary care cohort, especially among male and non-Title X clinic patients. Decreases in CT/NG retesting over the study period may be contributing to worsening of the STI epidemic. Our results provide insights into CT/NG retesting that can inform efforts to end the STI epidemic.

DOI

10.1016/j.jadohealth.2022.06.014

Alternate Title

J Adolesc Health

PMID

35963759

Title

Incidence of syphilis infection and syphilis-related care utilization among adolescents and young adults living with HIV.

Year of Publication

2021

Number of Pages

9564624211048774

Date Published

2021 Nov 02

ISSN Number

1758-1052

Abstract

<p><strong>BACKGROUND: </strong>Incidence of syphilis has been rising in recent years and disproportionately affects young adults, racial/ethnic minority men, and people living with HIV. This study describes patterns of syphilis infection and syphilis-related care utilization among adolescents and young adults living with HIV (AYALH) in Philadelphia.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>We conducted a retrospective cohort study of AYALH receiving care at an adolescent-specialty clinic who received a syphilis test and/or benzathine penicillin for syphilis treatment from 2011 to 2018 ( = 335). Syphilis incidence rates were calculated by baseline demographic characteristics and by calendar year. Recurrent survival analysis was used to explore how demographic and neighborhood-level factors were associated with incident syphilis and syphilis-related care utilization.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Syphilis-related care was provided 145 times and there were 109 episodes of confirmed syphilis among 83 unique participants between 2011 and 2018. The overall syphilis incidence rate was 13.50 (95% CI: 10.9-16.5) cases per hundred person-years. Participants assigned male sex at birth had higher hazards of infection (HR: 6.12, 95% CI: 1.53-24.48), while older participants (HR: 0.64, 95% CI: 0.58-0.72) and those living further from the clinic had lower hazards of infection (HR: 0.97, 95% CI: 0.94-1.00). Race, insurance status, neighborhood diversity index, and neighborhood social disadvantage index were not associated with hazard of infection or syphilis-related care utilization.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>Our study found high incidence of syphilis infection among a cohort of AYALH. Integrating comprehensive sexually transmitted infection prevention services into HIV care and improving syphilis prevention services in communities with high syphilis rates should be a priority in future intervention work.</p>

DOI

10.1177/09564624211048774

Alternate Title

Int J STD AIDS

PMID

34727755

Title

Characterizing the PrEP Continuum for Black and Latinx Sexual and Gender Minority Youth.

Year of Publication

2021

Date Published

2021 Sep 21

ISSN Number

1573-3254

Abstract

<p>Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) rollout efforts thus far have inadequately reached young people from underrepresented backgrounds. This study explores PrEP engagement among young Black and Latinx men who have sex with men, transgender women, and gender diverse individuals in three U.S. cities using an adapted PrEP continuum measure. We analyze data from the recruitment phase of an ongoing PrEP engagement intervention (n = 319) using partial proportional odds logistic regression. Participants reported high willingness and intention to use PrEP, yet most (82%) were not currently taking PrEP. Being insured (aOR = 2.95, 95%-CI = 1.60-5.49), having one or more PrEP users in one's sexual network (aOR = 4.19, 95%-CI = 2.61-6.79), and higher individual HIV risk scores (aOR = 1.62, 95%-CI = 1.34-1.97) were each associated with being further along the PrEP continuum. Strategies are needed to address barriers to healthcare access and leverage connections within social and sexual networks in order to bolster PrEP engagement among marginalized young people from diverse backgrounds.</p>

DOI

10.1007/s10461-021-03476-6

Alternate Title

AIDS Behav

PMID

34546472

Title

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on STI/HIV testing among adolescents in a large pediatric primary care network.

Year of Publication

2021

Date Published

2021 Mar 19

ISSN Number

1537-4521

Abstract

<p><b>ABSTRACT: </b>Disruptions in STI testing infrastructure during the COVID-19 pandemic threaten to impact STI service delivery for adolescents. Within a large pediatric primary care network, we compared STI testing encounters between the pandemic period and an analogous pre-pandemic period. STI test counts decreased and test positivity increased during the pandemic period.</p>

DOI

10.1097/OLQ.0000000000001427

Alternate Title

Sex Transm Dis

PMID

33783411

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