Main Reasons for Never Testing for HIV Among Women and Men Aged 15–44 in the United States, 2011–2015

January 25, 2018

Isaedmarie Febo-Vazquez, M.S., Epidemiologist at NCHS

Questions for Isaedmarie Febo-Vazquez, M.S., Epidemiologist and Lead Author of “Main Reasons for Never Testing for HIV Among Women and Men Aged 15–44 in the United States, 2011–2015

Q: What made you decide to focus on the reasons Americans aren’t getting HIV tests for the subject of your new report?

IFV: Our main motivation for conducting this study was our curiosity about why a large number of women and men aged 15-44 have never been tested for HIV. The 2011-2015 National Survey of Family Growth, or NSFG, provides nationally representative data on HIV testing among women and men aged 15-44. Despite the considerable evidence of the benefits of early detection of HIV and initiatives to promote routine HIV testing, there is a significant proportion of adults aged 15-44 in the United States that have never been tested for HIV. Our NSFG data on the reasons why people haven’t been tested for HIV recently became available, and we were curious to investigate these reasons.


Q: Was there a result in your study that you hadn’t expected and that really surprised you?

IFV: The survey question which asks what is the main reason for never testing for HIV is a relatively new question in the NSFG — since 2011. And this is the first time we’ve analyzed this important data. Some interesting findings include differences in the reasons Americans have never tested for HIV — by level of education. For example, a higher percentage of men and women aged 22-44 with Bachelor’s degrees or more education said that the main reason they had never been tested for HIV was because they were unlikely to have been exposed to HIV — compared with those who had less than a high school diploma. We were expecting to see some variations by level of education but were not sure which group would present a higher percentage for this reason for never being tested.


Q: What differences or similarities did you see among race and ethnic groups, and various demographics, in this analysis?

IFV: There are a number of interesting demographic findings in this report. Non-Hispanic Black men and women aged 15-44 were less likely to have never been tested for HIV, compared to other race and ethnic groups. A higher proportion of non-Hispanic white women and men said the main reason they had never been tested for HIV was because they were unlikely to have been exposed to HIV. In contrast, Hispanic men and women were most likely to report they were never offered an HIV test compared with other race and ethnic groups.


Q: What sort of trend data do you have on this topic so we can see how attitudes and behaviors have evolved over time?

IFV: This is the first time we have published data on the main reasons for never testing for HIV. There are prior published reports about HIV testing using NSFG data, but we did not focus on comparing data over time in this report.  Instead, we provide additional information related to HIV testing that could help guide national prevention strategies.


Q: How is the data in this report different or the same when compared to the other National Center for Health Statistics surveys that measure HIV testing, like the National Health Interview Survey and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey?   

IFV: The data on HIV testing that comes from different surveys at our agency offers a comprehensive picture of this important public health measure. The overall HIV-testing-question series in the NSFG is patterned after the National Health Interview Survey, or NHIS, and other surveys, where generally a distinction is made between testing done passively as part of donating blood or blood products and all other contexts for HIV testing. The NHIS currently collects data on ever having an HIV test outside of a blood donation, while the NSFG collects data on HIV testing as both part of blood donation and outside of blood donation. Also, the response categories for the question on the main reason for never having been tested for HIV are not the same for NHIS and NSFG.


Q: What is the take-home message of this report?

IFV: I think the take-home message of this report is that despite the considerable evidence of the benefits of early detection of HIV and initiatives to promote routine HIV testing, there is a significant proportion of adults aged 15-44 in the United States that have never been tested for HIV. Overall, 38.8% of women and more than half of men aged 15-44 have never tested for HIV outside of donating blood or blood products. The most common reason reported by women and men for never testing for HIV was that they were “unlikely to have been exposed to HIV,” followed by they had “never been offered an HIV test.” The NSFG continues to provide valuable nationally representative information to help evaluate and guide national HIV prevention strategies.  

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QuickStats: Human Immunodeficiency Virus Disease Death Rates Among Women Aged 45–64 Years, by Race and Age Group — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2000–2015

September 25, 2017

Among black women aged 45–54 years, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease death rate decreased 60% from 28.4 per 100,000 in 2006 to 11.5 in 2015.

Among black women aged 55–64 years, the rate increased 42% from 10.0 in 2000 to 14.2 in 2008, before declining to 10.3 in 2015.

Among white women aged 45–54 years, the rate decreased 53% from 1.9 in 2005 to 0.9 in 2015.

Among white women aged 55–64 years, the rate did not change, remaining at about 0.8.

Throughout the period, HIV disease death rates among black women were higher compared with rates among white women for both age groups.

Source: National Vital Statistics System

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6637a11.htm


Stat of the Day – June 27, 2017

June 27, 2017


HIV Infection in U.S. Household Population Aged 18–59

September 24, 2015

A new NCHS report presents estimates of HIV prevalence, the association of HIV status with key risk factors, and the prevalence of antiretroviral drug use among HIV-infected adults, based on the 2007–2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • During 2007–2012, the overall HIV prevalence among adults aged 18–59 residing in U.S. households was 0.39%.
  • Men were more likely to be HIV-infected than women, and non-Hispanic black persons were more likely to be HIV-infected than all other race and Hispanic origin subgroups combined.
  • HIV infection was associated with high-risk populations, including those with herpes simplex virus type 2 infection, 10 or more lifetime sexual partners, a history of prior sexually transmitted infection, or a history of same-sex sexual contact among men.
  • One-half of HIV-infected adults were on antiretroviral therapy (51.9%). Among HIV-infected adults, 86.1% reported any lifetime history of HIV testing outside of blood donations.

HIV Testing in the Past Year Among the U.S. Household Population Aged 15–44: 2011–2013

June 2, 2015

In 2011, more than 1 million Americans aged 13 and over were living with HIV infection, and one in seven did not know their infection status. Routine, voluntary HIV testing is a recognized way to reduce HIV transmission.

A new NCHS report updates nationally representative estimates and trends for HIV testing in the past year (excluding donation of blood or blood products, during which individuals are routinely tested) among the U.S. household population aged 15–44.

Patterns of reported HIV testing in 2011–2013 are shown by age, race and Hispanic origin, education, and selected sexual behaviors that may be related to an elevated risk of HIV infection.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • Overall, 19% of persons aged 15–44 in 2011–2013 had been tested for HIV in the past year, including 22% of females and 16% of males.
  • Higher percentages of HIV testing in the past year were seen for persons aged 15–34 compared with those aged 35–44, and for non-Hispanic black persons compared with other race and ethnicity groups.
  • Four of 10 males who had same-sex sexual contact in the past year had been tested for HIV in the past year, compared with 2 of 10 who had opposite-sex sexual contact in the past year.
  • Levels of HIV testing in the past year were higher for persons with behaviors that increase HIV risk, including having one or more same-sex partners or higher numbers of opposite-sex sexual partners in the past year.

 

 


The Prevelance of HIV Infection Among U.S. Adults

January 30, 2008

Did you know that approximatley 0.47 percent of U.S.  household population between the ages of 18 and 49 years are living with HIV, according to estimates from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) based on surveys conducted between 1999-2006? Read more here!


HIV Testing

September 14, 2007

Though the CDC has a center devoted to the study of HIV/AIDS, the National Center for Health Statistics produces data on HIV testing. The most comprehensive source is from the National Health Interview Survey’s Summary Health Statistics: US Adults.

Another comprehensive study is HIV Testing in the United States, 2002.