Social work in health care 2017 07 11() 1-10 doi 10.1080/00981389.2017.1339762
Older adults are the fastest growing segment of people living with HIV, and unfortunately many are unaware of their HIV status. Many providers are reluctant to ask older adults about their sexual histories, evaluate their risk factors, and test for HIV, and older adults have low perception of HIV risk. Using data from the 2013 to 2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, this study assessed the prevalence of recent HIV testing among older adults in the United States (n = 1,056) and identified predictors and barriers to recent HIV testing. The prevalence of recent HIV testing was 28%. Recent HIV testing was associated positively with male gender, education level, having public insurance, having same sex sexual behavior, African, and Hispanic ethnicity, whereas age, income-to-poverty ratio, and Asian ethnicity were associated negatively with recent HIV testing. Public health social workers are advised that targeted HIV testing for Asian, economically disadvantaged, female older adults is needed to increase HIV awareness and detection and to decrease late diagnosis of HIV. Provided public insurance was identified as a predictor of recent HIV testing, facilitating economically disadvantaged older adults’ eligibility for public insurance that will likely improve access to HIV testing services and increase HIV testing rates.