CDC Examines HIV Testing Rates, Reasons For Having Never Been Tested

Persons who have HIV but are undiagnosed are estimated to account for one-third of HIV transmissions
Persons who have HIV but are undiagnosed are estimated to account for one-third of HIV transmissions

HealthDay News — Almost 40% of women and more than 50% of men aged 15 to 44 years had never been tested for HIV between 2011 and 2015, according to a report published January 25 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

Isaedmarie Febo-Vazquez, from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, and colleagues examined the proportion of people who have never been tested for HIV outside of blood or blood product donation and the reasons for never having been tested for HIV. Data were obtained from 2011 to 2015 from the National Survey of Family Growth for 9,321 men and 11,300 women. 

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The researchers found that 38.8% of women and 53.8% of men had never been tested for HIV outside of donating blood or blood products. The lowest percentages of those never tested were seen for non-Hispanic black women and men (20.8 and 32.2%, respectively) compared with other Hispanic-origin or other race groups. There was variation in never testing by marital or cohabiting status, education, and sexual orientation. The most common reasons reported for having never been tested for HIV was that they were unlikely to have been exposed and had never been offered a test.

"The greater prevalence of having never been tested for HIV among adolescents and young adults may inform programs aimed at reducing HIV infections in these populations," the authors write.

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