(HealthDay News) — Considerable numbers of men who have sex with men (MSM) and persons who inject drugs (PWID) who are unaware of their HIV infection report missed opportunities for diagnosis, according to a research letter published online June 26 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Cyprian Wejnert, PhD, from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues estimated the percentages of MSM and PWID who were unaware of their HIV infection and had missed opportunities for testing and diagnosis in clinical settings. Data were included for 9105 MSM and 19,357 PWID.
The researchers found that 22% of MSM and 8% of PWID had a positive test result for HIV infection. Of the participants who were HIV positive, 8 and 12%, respectively, were unaware of their infection. Among those who were unaware, 81% of MSM and 65% of PWID reported having visited a clinician in the past year. In that time, 43 and 24%, respectively, reported being offered an HIV test. Overall, 44% of unaware MSM and 77% of unaware PWID reported not being tested for HIV test in the past year; 52 and 45% of those not tested in the past year reported not having been offered an HIV test at a clinic visit.
“Eliminating missed opportunities for HIV testing and diagnosis in health care settings may reduce HIV transmission, especially among high-risk groups,” the authors write.
Wejnert C, Prejean J, Hoots B, Hall HI, McCray E, Mermin J, for the NHBS Study Group. Prevalence of Missed Opportunities for HIV Testing Among Persons Unaware of Their Infection. JAMA. 2018;319(24):2555-2557. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.7611