CDC: Not enough teens are being tested for HIV

Female and black patients were more likely to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases compared with males.

CDC: Not enough teens are being tested for HIV
CDC: Not enough teens are being tested for HIV

HealthDay News -- Only one in five sexually active United States teen patients have been tested for HIV, according a CDC report that reviewed data from 1991 to 2013, which will be presented at AIDS 2014, in Melbourne, Australia.

“This analysis offers a mixed progress report on sexual risk among U.S. high school students – we've seen substantial progress in some areas, but risk persists in others,” said Jonathan Mermin, MD, director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Prevention in a press release. “It is clear that HIV testing is not reaching everyone who needs it.”

The agency report is based on data from the CDC's National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which is a nationally representative survey done every two years among public and private school students in grades 9 to 12. The CDC researchers found that females and black patients were more likely to be tested than males and other racial/ethnic groups.

Although the number of black and Hispanic teens who have had sexual intercourse has dropped, that trend has stalled among whites and boys, the researchers noted. In addition, there has been a consistent decline in the number of black and Hispanic teens who had multiple sexual partners, but this number increased among white teens since 2009.

And after years of increased condom use, that has dropped among sexually active girls and black teens, but is stable among boys and white and Hispanic teens, the researchers found.

The CDC recommends that teens and adults aged 13 to 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine medical care.

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