Introduction: Since 2004, the authors have been operating First Call NYU, an outreach program to identify acute and recent HIV infections, also called primary HIV infections, among targeted at-risk communities in the New York City (NYC) metropolitan area.

Materials and Methodology: First Call NYU employed mass media advertising campaigns, outreach to healthcare providers in NYC, and Internet-based efforts including search engine optimization (SEO) and Internet-based advertising to achieve these goals.

Results: Between October 2004 and October 2008, 571 individuals were screened through this program, leading to 446 unique, in-person screening visits. 47 primary HIV infections, including 14 acute and 33 recent HIV infections, were identified.

Discussion: Internet and traditional recruitment methods can be used to increase self-referrals for screening following possible exposure to HIV.

Conclusion: Community education of at-risk groups, with the goal of increased self-diagnosis of possible acute HIV infection, may be a useful addition to traditional efforts to identify such individuals.

Keywords: HIV, New York City, Patient selection, Community-institutional relations, Advertising as topic, Internet, Mass media..
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