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Few Young Males Receive HIV Testing at Physician Office Visits

Few Young Males Receive HIV Testing at Physician Office Visits
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TUESDAY, June 28, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Few young males receive HIV testing during visits to physicians’ offices, although the rates are higher for black and Hispanic males than for white males, according to a report published in the June 24 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Noting that in 2014, 81 percent of new HIV infection diagnoses in the United States were in males, with the highest number in those aged 20 to 29 years, D. Cal Ham, M.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues identified opportunities for HIV diagnosis in young males.

The researchers found that white males visited physicians’ offices more often than black and Hispanic males during 2009 to 2012 (average annual rates of 1.6, 0.9, and 0.8 visits/person, respectively). An HIV test was performed at 1.0 percent of visits made by young males, with higher testing rates seen for black and Hispanic versus white males (2.7 and 1.4 percent, respectively, versus 0.7 percent).

“Although higher proportions of black and Hispanic males received HIV testing at health care visits compared with white males, this benefit is likely attenuated by a lower rate of health care visits,” the authors write. “Interventions to routinize HIV testing at U.S. physicians’ offices could be implemented to improve HIV testing coverage.”

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