(HealthDay News) — Few young men who have sex with men (MSM) receive HIV testing, although they account for most new diagnoses, according to research published in the June 23 issue of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Review.
Noting that the CDC recommends screening all persons aged 13 to 64 years for HIV infection, Renee Stein, PhD, from the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention at the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data for young people submitted by 61 health departments in 2015.
The researchers found that young MSM received 28% of HIV tests, although they accounted for 83% of new diagnoses. Sixty-six percent of young people who received positive test results for HIV infection were linked to care within 90 days of diagnosis in this analysis.
“Increasing the number of youths at risk for HIV infection who are tested for HIV on a regular basis and ensuring that youths who receive positive test results for HIV are rapidly linked to and retained in appropriate medical care, including early initiation of antiretroviral therapy, are essential steps for reducing HIV infection in this vulnerable population,” the authors write.
- Stein R, Song W, Marano M, Patel H, Rao S, Morris E. HIV Testing, Linkage to HIV Medical Care, and Interviews for Partner Services Among Youths — 61 Health Department Jurisdictions, United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, 2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017;66:629–635. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm6624a2