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HIV Testing

Narrative

People aware of and receiving appropriate care for positive HIV serostatus may be able to live longer and healthier lives because of newly available, effective treatments. It is recommended that people who meet any of the following criteria be tested at least annually for HIV: those who have injected drugs or steroids, or shared drug use equipment (such as needles); have had unprotected sex with men who have sex with men, anonymous partners, or multiple partners; have exchanged sex for drugs or money; have been diagnosed with hepatitis, tuberculosis, or a sexually transmitted infection; received a blood transfusion between 1978 and 1985; or have had unprotected sex with anyone who meets any of these criteria.1 In addition, the CDC recommends that all health care providers include HIV testing as part of their patients’ routine health care and that all pregnant women be tested during their pregnancy.

In 2007–2009, 38.6 percent of adults in the United States had ever been tested for HIV. Overall, women were slightly more likely than men to have been tested (41.0 versus 36.1 percent, respectively). Within younger age groups (18–44 years), women were more likely to have been tested than men, while men were more likely to have been tested at older ages (45 years and older).

Among women in 2007–2009, non-Hispanic Black women and non-Hispanic women of multiple races were most likely to have ever been tested (58.7 and 55.8 percent, respectively). About half of all Hispanic and non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native women had been tested (50.8 and 47.3 percent, respectively). Non-Hispanic White and Asian women were much less likely to have reported ever being tested (36.0 and 36.1 percent, respectively).

Among women who had not been tested, 78.9 percent reported that they had not been tested because they thought it was unlikely they had been exposed and 19.1 percent reported that there was no particular reason they had not done so.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National HIV Testing Resources.External Web Site Policy Frequently asked questions about HIV and STD testing. Accessed 02/26/11.

Graphs

Data

Adults Aged 18 and Older Who Have Ever Been Tested for HIV, by Age and Sex, 2007–2009
Age Group Percent of Adults
Female Male
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey, 2007-2009. Analysis conducted by the Maternal and Child Health Information Resource Center.
18-24 Years 43.4 24.0
25-34 Years 66.9 46.3
35-44 Years 58.9 49.2
45-64 Years 33.4 36.5
65 Years and Older 10.1 15.6
Total 41.0 36.1

Women Aged 18 and Older Who Have Ever Been Tested for HIV, by Race/Ethnicity,* 2007–2009

Percent of Women:

  • Non-Hispanic White: 36.0
  • Non-Hispanic Black: 58.7
  • Hispanic: 50.8
  • Non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native: 47.3
  • Non-Hispanic Asian: 36.1
  • Non-Hispanic Multiple Race: 55.8

*The sample of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders was too small to produce reliable results.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey, 2007-2009. Analysis conducted by the Maternal and Child Health Information Resource Center.

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