Beyond the Barefoot Doctors: Using Community Health Workers to Translate HIV Research to Service

BreAnne Young, Amanda Rosenthal, Sebastian Escarfuller, Simran Shah, Olveen Carrasquillo, Sonjia Kenya
AIDS and Behavior 2019, 23 (10): 2879-2888
Miami-Dade leads the nation in new HIV infections, and its Black communities experience the greatest disparities in outcomes. Our prior research found that street-based HIV testing facilitated by community health workers improved access to testing and care among Black adults in a controlled trial setting. Herein, we describe our efforts translating this CHW-led intervention into a community service for diverse Blacks in Miami. From December 2016 through August 2017, CHWs educated 1672 individuals about HIV transmission, prevention methods, and risk factor modification; 529 received HIV testing and/or linkage to care services. Approximately 5% of participants (n = 26) had rapid reactive results. This efficacious and culturally-acceptable model represents a powerful change in the delivery of HIV care and demonstrates how public health leaders can foster community engagement in the transition from research to service.

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