College aged, African American youth are at an even higher risk for HIV infection than their majority group peers. With over 2,000,000 African American young men and women attending HBCUs annually, these findings suggest serious implications for African American college students. While numerous educational and preventative interventions exist, African Americans continue to present the fastest growing infection rates than any other segment of the population, and are the least likely to be aware of their serostatus. Thus, offering HIV testing on HBCU campuses has the potential to enhance students'awareness of their HIV status, while promoting risk reduction and supporting early medical treatment, which optimizes clinical outcomes among those who are HIV positive by linking them to care. In an effort to fill the gap in health care accessibility, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has implemented a new model for diagnosing HIV infections outside of the traditional medical settings to include non-clinical settings in the community. In this application, the applicant proposes to use a Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) approach to identify the barriers and facilitators of offering HIV testing on a Historically Black College/University (HBCU) in Mississippi. The geographic area and subgroup were chosen because of the disproportionate HIV prevalence and rate of infection;African Americans account for 37% of the Mississippi population, yet make up 73 % of its AIDS cases. The proposed study will use a multimethod approach beginning with a CBPR Approach and ending with a quantitative analysis. CBPR will be used to recruit, inform, and engage African American college students in developing strategies to reduce the barriers of HIV testing on an HBCU campus.
There is much to be explored with regard to the factors that promote and impede HIV rapid testing. Implementing HIV testing on college campuses has the potential to promote opportunities for primary and secondary prevention.