Why Fewer Young People are Getting Tested for HIV

People ages 15–24 are more likely than those ages 25–44 to have never been tested for HIV–a new study reveals the reasons why.

Published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Statistics Reports, the study lists reasons that young people of various demographic groups, including sexual minorities, have not been tested for HIV. The overall most common reason was that respondents were “unlikely to have been exposed to HIV” (72.0% of women who had never been tested and 71.1% of men who had never been tested), followed by the response that they were “never offered an HIV test” (21.0% for women and 21.1% for men).

Among women aged 15–44 identifying as bisexual, a lower percentage had never been tested for HIV (33.7%) compared with heterosexual (38.9%) and homosexual women (46.4%). This was different for men aged 15–44 however: homosexual men (28.7%) were less likely to have never been tested compared with heterosexual (54.3%) or bisexual men (47.8%).

Dr. Andrea Ciaranello, associate professor of medicine and infectious disease specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, concludes in CNN’s report on the study that health care providers should start talking about and offering HIV testing and prevention to young patients, despite previous claims that HIV rates are lower among young people.

You can read CNN’s report here: https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/25/health/hiv-testing-trends-cdc-study/index.html

You can access the full report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Health Statistics Reports here: http://cdn.cnn.com/cnn/2018/images/01/24/cdc.hiv.testing.data.pdf