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, Ph.D., from the U.S. 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 9,105 MSM and 19,357 PWID.
The researchers found that 22 percent of MSM and 8 percent of PWID had a positive test result for HIV infection.
Of the participants who were HIV positive, 8 and 12 percent, respectively, were unaware of their infection. Among those who were unaware, 81 percent of MSM and 65 percent of PWID reported having visited a clinician in the past year. In that time, 43 and 24 percent, respectively, reported being offered an HIV test. Overall, 44 percent of unaware MSM and 77 percent of unaware PWID reported not being tested for HIV test in the past year; 52 and 45 percent 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.