National HIV Behavioral Surveillance in the Denver Metro Area

The National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) system is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor risk behaviors and access to HIV prevention services among three populations at risk for HIV:

  • Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, known as the MSM cycle.
  • Persons who inject drugs, known as the injection drug use or IDU cycle.
  • Heterosexuals at increased risk for HIV infection, known as the HET cycle.

Denver is one of 23 sites across the United States collecting NHBS data. Locally, NHBS is known as REACH (Risk Education Aimed at Community Health). REACH data is used to guide prevention, and HIV counseling and testing services in the Denver Metro area. NHBS data also provides a behavioral context for trends seen in HIV surveillance throughout the United States.

MSM Cycles IDU Cycles HET Cycles

Round 1

Total completed surveys

Total HIV tests

HIV Prevalence

12/04-02/05

869

Did not test

---

07/05-02/06

519

Did not test

---

01/07-10/07

760

759

0.5%

Round 2

Total completed surveys

Total HIV tests

HIV Prevalence

08/08-11/08

545

479

15.9%

08/09-12/09

430

429

4.7%

08/10-11/10

522

510

1.2%

Round 3

Total completed surveys

Total HIV tests

HIV Prevalence

08/11-11/11

547

507

16.2%

08/10-12/12

516

515

6.0%

07/13-12/13

499

496

0.8%

Round 4

Total completed surveys

Total HIV tests

HIV Prevalence

06/14-11/14

528

496

15.5%

06/15-12/15

603

603

4.5%

07/16-12/16

407

407

0.7%

Round 5

Total completed surveys

Total HIV tests

HIV Prevalence

07/17-11/17

533

524

12.0%

Data collection began 05/18  

 

How NHBS is Conducted in Denver

All REACH participants complete a standardized anonymous questionnaire about HIV-related risk behaviors, HIV testing habits, and the use of HIV prevention services. During the MSM cycles, participants are recruited using a venue-based, time-space methodology. During the IDU and HET cycles, participants are recruited using a respondent-driven sampling methodology.

Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) across the NHBS populations

Denver Public Health has also offered testing for the hepatitis C virus to NHBS participants.  

Substance Use across the NHBS populations

NHBS provides data on HIV-related risk behaviors, which includes substance use. Increased risk for HIV infection can result from impaired judgment that can lead to risky sexual behaviors in addition to the risk associated with the sharing of injection equipment.