Researchers from the CDC have found that HIV testing increased among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men from 2008 to 2011.
“These differential increases in recent HIV testing coincided with the implementation of CDC’s Expanded Testing Initiative, in time, by location and by population of interest,” the researchers wrote in Clinical Infectious Diseases. “These data suggest that CDC’s efforts to increase HIV testing among key populations at high risk for HIV might be having a measurable population-level impact.”
The Expanded Testing Initiative (ETI) was launched in 2007 to facilitate HIV diagnosis and linkage to care for blacks, and was meant to increase HIV testing in 25 jurisdictions with high AIDS burdens. Using data from the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS), the researchers evaluated HIV testing history among MSM in 20 cities, 17 of which were also jurisdictions of the ETI.
Among the ETI cities, there was a significant increase in recent HIV testing, from 64% to 69% (adjusted prevalence ratio=1.08; 95% CI, 1.06-1.11), but not in the three non-ETI cities. Among the ETI cities, the increase in HIV testing was greatest among black MSM (14%) and MSM of multiple/other races (19%). In non-ETI cities, recent HIV testing did not increase for any racial/ethnic group except for MSM of multiple/other races, which had a small sample size.
“Increases in recent HIV testing among populations most affected by HIV are encouraging,” the researchers wrote. “Nevertheless, even in 2011 in NHBS cities located in ETI jurisdictions, 31% of the MSM participating in NHBS had not been tested for HIV during the previous 12 months. Continued and expanded efforts are needed to ensure that more people with HIV know their status and are linked to care and treatment, according to current CDC recommendations.”
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.