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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Oct;219(4):383.e1-383.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2018.08.026. Epub 2018 Aug 23.

Low HIV testing rates among US women who report anal sex and other HIV sexual risk behaviors, 2011-2015.

Author information

1
Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA; Epidemic Intelligence Service, Office of Workforce and Career Development, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA. Electronic address: lxi8@cdc.gov.
2
Division of STD Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.
3
Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

In 2016, 19% of HIV diagnoses were in women. About 40% of HIV infections in women aged 18-34 years have been attributed to anal sex, suggesting that women who report high risk behaviors such as anal sex might benefit from HIV testing and prevention with preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP). In this analysis, we estimated HIV testing rates among women who reported anal sex.

STUDY DESIGN:

We analyzed data from the 2011-2015 National Survey of Family Growth to estimate the proportion of sexually active, nonpregnant US women aged 15-44 years who had an HIV test within the past year, stratified by those who reported anal sex and other risk factors, including ≥2 sexual partners, condomless sex with a new partner or multiple partners, gonorrhea in the past year, or any history of syphilis.

RESULTS:

Overall, 7.9 million of 42.4 million sexually active, nonpregnant US women (18.7%) reported an HIV test within the past year. Among 42.4 million sexually active women, 9.0 million (20.1%) reported they had anal sex in the past year. Among these 9.0 million women, 19.2% reported that their providers asked about their type of intercourse, and 20.1% reported an HIV test within the past year. Overall, HIV testing was higher among women who reported anal sex and reported that their providers asked about type of sex than those whose provider did not ask (37.8% vs 15.9%; P < .001). HIV testing in the past year was higher for women with other risk behaviors compared with anal sex, ranging from 35.8% to 47.2%.

CONCLUSION:

Overall, HIV testing rates within the past year were low among women with sexual behaviors that increase their risk of acquiring HIV and especially low among those who reported anal sex. Early detection and treatment of HIV, and HIV prevention with PrEP, are effective health services that protect women's health and well-being but that can be offered only based on HIV testing results. Women's health care providers are uniquely poised to assess risk for acquiring HIV, including taking a sexual history that asks about anal sex, and performing HIV testing to identify women who need HIV treatment or might benefit from PrEP.

KEYWORDS:

HIV; HIV testing; anal intercourse; anal sex; preexposure prophylaxis; women

PMID:
30144401
DOI:
10.1016/j.ajog.2018.08.026

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