About 40% of U.S. Adults Have Received HIV Tests, Study Finds
About 40% of adults in the U.S. have ever been tested for HIV, according to a study published Friday in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report to coincide with the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City, the Los Angeles Times reports (Maugh, Los Angeles Times, 8/8). "In 2006, 40.4% (an estimated 71.5 million persons) of U.S. adults aged 18 to 64 years reported ever being tested for HIV infection," the study said, adding, "In addition, 10.4% (an estimated 17.8 million persons) reported being tested in the preceding 12 months, and 23% of persons who acknowledged having HIV risk factors reported being tested in the preceding 12 months."
The study, as well as an earlier report from CDC about annual new HIV infections in the U.S., "show that testing efforts are falling far short," with one-fourth of the approximately one million HIV-positive people in the U.S. unaware of their status, according to Reuters. "The data in this report suggest that progress in HIV testing stalled in the mid- to late-1990s and new strategies such as expanded screening in health care settings appear to be warranted," CDC said in the study.
The agency two years ago released new guidelines recommending routine HIV screening for people ages 13 to 64. Early HIV diagnosis "enables infected persons to obtain medical care that can improve the quality and length of their lives and adopt behaviors to prevent further HIV transmission," CDC said (Fox, Reuters, 8/7). An HIV-positive person who is unaware of his or her status is three times as likely to transmit HIV to others than a person who knows his or her status, according to CDC (Los Angeles Times, 8/8).
According to the agency, among all people diagnosed with HIV in 2005, 38% received an AIDS diagnosis within one year of their first positive HIV test (Reuters, 8/7).
The study is available online.
Kaisernetwork.org is the official webcaster of the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City. Click here to sign up for your Daily Update e-mail during the conference. A webcast on HIV testing and counseling is available online.
In addition, a kaisernetwork.org interview in Mexico City with Kevin Fenton, Director of the CDC's Director, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention is available online.