Presentation Title

Mobile HIV Testing During the Opioid Epidemic at Substance Abuse Sites

Abstract

Use of mobile rapid test counselors at New Jersey substance abuse facilities has increased acceptance of screening by both ‘at risk’ clients and staff, improved the volume and quality of testing, expedited linkage into care and due to the standardized QA program, allowed for the rapid adoption of additional tests to screen other infectious diseases including hepatitis and syphilis.

Proposal Summary

Background. As the rest of the country, New Jersey is suffering from a severe opioid epidemic. While a historically significant prevalence for HIV in IV drug abusers is steadily decreasing, mostly due to successful syringe exchange programs, education and wide availability of alternative drugs, sexual transmission is on the rise due to high-risk activities that drug users partake in. While the number of treatment facilities is increasing, the efforts to address comorbidities such as HIV or Hepatitis C infection in the affected population are lagging, especially in more rural areas. Objectives. Increase access to HIV and Hepatitis C testing and linkage into care. Methods. Collaboration between NJ Division of Addiction Services, NJ Department of Health and Rutgers RWJ Medical School allowed implementation of a Mobile Counselor program to address HIV testing and linkage to care, delivered on location at treatment facilities. A certified HIV Counselor, trained and competent in rapid HIV testing performs rapid testing of patients on location at treatment centers, based on a rotating schedule and on-demand. Linkage to care coordinators are available to navigate the positive clients into care. Centralized procedures, inventory control, quality assurance and proficiency help contain costs. Results. Since the beginning of the program, the mobile counselor tested 2,600 clients and identified 6 positive patients, with 100% linkage to care within 48 hours. Conclusions. The program allows sites to focus on the drug treatment aspects of the care, with no need to secure training, competency or extensive testing supplies, all provided through the mobile tester. The recent addition of rapid Hepatitis C testing is addressing the reported coinfection HIV-HepC in the drug use groups.

Relevance And Significance

HIV and substance abuse and addiction. Innovative strategies and tools for prevention and intervention in rural communities Mobile testing for HIV and other infectious diseases by rapid POCT methods has better penetration, acceptance and expedited linkage to care than traditional testing. Mobile tester brings the testing to the patients and can deliver results while with the patient.

Session Format

Poster Session

Keywords

mobile testing, HIV, addiction

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Sep 21st, 5:30 PM Sep 21st, 7:30 PM

Mobile HIV Testing During the Opioid Epidemic at Substance Abuse Sites

Use of mobile rapid test counselors at New Jersey substance abuse facilities has increased acceptance of screening by both ‘at risk’ clients and staff, improved the volume and quality of testing, expedited linkage into care and due to the standardized QA program, allowed for the rapid adoption of additional tests to screen other infectious diseases including hepatitis and syphilis.