Age and Ethnicity Can Impact HIV Testing

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A number of factors can affect the decision to get HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) testing, including a lack of knowledge about the virus, other priorities during health check-ups, stigmas associated with the test, and, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Riverside's School of Medicine, age and ethnicity. Results of the study, published in Medicine, suggest steps must be taken to boost HIV testing in older adults and Hispanics.

The researchers used data from the 2014 Get Tested Coachella Valley Community Survey involving about 1,000 people in Southern California. They examined demographics, sexual history, HIV testing history, thoughts on who should get tested for HIV, and future preferences for HIV testing. They found that stigma, knowledge about HIV, provider recommendations, risk perceptions, and cost affect HIV testing.

According to the researchers, Hispanic participants were less likely to receive HIV testing than non-Hispanic participants, despite accounting for about 20 percent of all HIV infections. Older adults underestimate their HIV risk more often, delay or forgo testing, and are more likely to be diagnosed with HIV later in the disease course than younger adults.

Sourced from: Medicine