Increasing HIV Testing 8-fold Could Result in Near-Universal Coverage

February 26, 2016

Quadrupling HIV testing by primary care physicians could lead to much greater coverage for patients by the age of 39 years, while increasing testing 8-fold could result in near-universal coverage, according to knew data presented be the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to the current rate of HIV testing by primary care physicians among men aged 18-39 years, 27% of white, 43% of black, and 32% of Hispanic males will be tested at least once by the age of 39. Quadrupling this testing rate would result in testing coverage for 73% of white, 91% of black ,and 80% of Hispanic males, while an 8-fold increase would cover 93% of white, 99% of black, and 97% of Hispanic males, according to an article article on Healio.

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The data, presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, also found that black and Hispanic males visit their physician’s office less frequently, so performing HIV testing when they do go is crucial.

In order to figure out the frequency needed to achieve near-universal coverage for males by 39 years of age, using data from the 2009-2012 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and the US Census, the CDC estimated mean figures for the annual number of visits for males (18-39 years of age) and HIV testing done during each visit stratified by age, race, and ethnicity. The probability of an HIV test in a given year was calculated.

Data showed that this population has 58.4 million visits with primary care doctors, with HIV testing done at only 1.35 of these visits. Data showed that white males had 1.3 mean annual visits per person, black males had 0.61, and Hispanic males had 0.59. Black males aged 18 to 24 years and 25 to 29 years old had a testing rate of 2.5% and 4.2%, respectively. Hispanic males aged 18 to 24 years and 25 to 29 years old had a testing rate of 5.1% and 2.7%, respectively. White males aged 18 to 24 years and 25 to 29 years old had a testing rate of 1.1% and 2%, respectively.

 

Reference: Laday J. Near-universal HIV screening would require 8-fold increase in testing at primary care offices. Healio. February 26, 2016.