For this installment of C4H Tips, we drew upon inspiration from successful HIV testing programs across the country and how they’re using forward-thinking tactics to prevent HIV in their communities. Some tips are simple strategies you can easily adopt, while others might be short-to-longer-term goals. Either way, there are HIV testing guidelines and supporting links in this list for programs at all level.
6 Ways to Improve Your HIV Testing Guidelines:
Chances are many of your HIV testing clients aren’t aware of PrEP or PEP. In fact, California just recently signed the first law ever of its kind to ensure HIV-negative people receive info about methods that reduce HIV risk, including PrEP and PEP, during HIV post-test counseling. Think about how you can empower your testing counselors to provide PrEP/PEP education.
Make It Social
Social media is undoubtedly popular. This study shows how social media may be the key to promoting testing among high-risk populations, and best practices to observe when utilizing social media to promote testing among those who don’t access services. How strong is your program at online outreach?
Collaborate with Clinics
Working with clinics — whether they are in-house or external partners — is an excellent way to prevent HIV on the local level. As HIV service providers, you are experts at working with at-risk populations. Which means you can build the confidence of primary care providers to offer HIV testing and motivate them to do so.
Substance use programs can be an effective and feasible area for you to implement HIV testing to higher-risk clients. Think about what substance use programs exist within your agency or locally to collaborate with in providing streamline routine testing.
Stay up-to-date on HIV news by looking at tangentially related infectious diseases. Researchers have only recently discovered that Hepatitis C can shed rectally between HIV-positive MSM without blood being present. As they say: knowledge is power.
Youth are savvy. Youth are innovative. Youth are creative. Youth know how to market for one another, and what you will find here is: an inspiring compilation of campaigns that educate and empower young people to get tested for HIV.