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J Adolesc Health. 2003 Aug;33(2 Suppl):10-22.

Case finding for HIV-positive youth: a special type of hidden population.

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Division of Adolescent Medicine, Stroger Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, Illinois, USA.



To describe the HIV case finding strategies used by the Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS), Adolescent HIV Outreach and Treatment programs, the populations of youth they were able to reach, and the populations of HIV-positive youth they were able to identify.


Program specifications from five programs located in four major metropolitan centers were contrasted. Four of the programs also provided outcome data for HIV counseling and testing outcome numbers, demographic and risk profile data for youth who underwent HIV testing, and mode of infection of HIV-positive youth.


The program outcomes were discussed in terms of similarities and differences in outreach methods (e.g., peer workers, time of outreach, etc.), geographic settings (i.e., mobile van, institutional settings, community locations), individual characteristics (e.g., pregnant women) and youth subcultures (i.e., gay/transgendered, incarcerated juveniles, homeless).


Because HIV-positive adolescents will constitutionally remain a "hidden population," a great deal of time and effort will continue to need to go into the front end of outreach, counseling and testing. Specific guidance and recommendations for locating HIV-positive youth were provided to program designers for each type of outreach strategy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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