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AIDS. 1995 May;9(5):487-92.

HIV testing patterns: where, why, and when were persons with AIDS tested for HIV?

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1
Division of HIV/AIDS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the location of, primary reason for, and time between the first positive HIV test and AIDS diagnosis in a sample of persons with newly diagnosed AIDS.

DESIGN:

Interviews supplementing information routinely collected through AIDS case reporting.

SETTING:

Eleven US states and cities.

PATIENTS:

Persons with AIDS (2441) diagnosed between January 1990 and December 1992.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Location of first positive HIV test, primary reason for testing, and time interval between first positive HIV test and AIDS diagnosis.

RESULTS:

Overall, persons were tested late in their course of HIV infection: 36% were tested for HIV within 2 months and 51% within 1 year of their AIDS diagnosis. Sixty-five per cent were HIV-tested in acute health-care settings: 33% in hospitals, 28% in physicians' offices, and 4% in emergency departments. Testing during hospitalization was most common among injecting drug users (43%) and persons infected through heterosexual contact (50%). Persons primarily sought HIV testing because of illness (58%); other reasons included being in a known risk group (13%) and having had a known HIV-infected sex partner (8%). Testing because of being in a known risk group was least common among persons infected through heterosexual contact (1%). Among persons in these exposure categories, testing differed by race/ethnicity.

CONCLUSION:

Most persons with AIDS were tested relatively late in their course of HIV infection, in acute health-care settings, and because of illness. Not knowing one's serostatus precludes early medical intervention and may increase transmission.

PMID:
7639974
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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