MONDAY, June 27, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — Testing for HIV suffered a pointy setback throughout the first yr of the pandemic, new authorities knowledge reveals.
The variety of HIV checks funded by the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention and administered in well being care settings dropped 43% between 2019 and 2020, the examine confirmed. Checks administered in non-health care settings dropped 50% that very same yr.
The drop affected teams disproportionately affected by HIV, the CDC mentioned, which highlights an pressing must scale up testing and cut back disparities amongst those that may most profit from HIV care.
“We welcomed 2020 with optimism. New HIV infections had been declining, and a focus to HIV was growing. However simply as COVID-19 disrupted our lives, it modified the course of HIV prevention,” mentioned Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of the CDC’s Nationwide Heart for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention.
“Now we’re at a crossroads,” he mentioned in a CDC information launch. “Will we settle for the huge reductions in HIV testing, or will we bounce again stronger?”
In non-health care settings, testing declined 49% amongst homosexual and bisexual males, 47% amongst transgender individuals, 46% amongst Hispanic and Latino individuals and 44% amongst Black individuals.
Calling HIV testing the bridge to extremely efficient remedy and prevention, the CDC mentioned delayed diagnoses can result in unfavorable well being penalties and elevated HIV transmission.
The CDC recommends that everybody ages 13 to 64 must be examined for HIV not less than as soon as and that some must be examined not less than yearly.
These findings add to different regarding findings that confirmed a steep discount in HIV diagnoses and a slowing of pre-exposure prophylaxis prescriptions (PrEP) from 2019 to 2020.
“Everybody ought to get pleasure from good well being — and getting an HIV take a look at is a part of a profitable plan to take action. Some individuals might not get examined for a lot of causes, equivalent to issues about HIV stigma, homophobia, transphobia and a bunch of different -isms and phobias. Or they could not know that an HIV take a look at may benefit them,” mentioned Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, director of the CDC’s Division of HIV Prevention.
“We should proceed working collectively to beat these and different elements that stand in the way in which of equitable HIV prevention and care,” Daskalakis mentioned within the launch.
The CDC inspired state, native, well being care and community-based partnerships to extend entry to testing providers, with methods equivalent to self-testing and routine opt-out screening in well being care settings.
Nationwide HIV Testing Day is June 27. Discover quick, free and confidential HIV testing on the CDC’s Get Examined or by calling 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636). HIV self-tests could also be bought at a pharmacy or on-line. Examine to see in case your native well being division or one other group is offering a speedy self-test for a lowered value or at no cost.
Be taught extra about HIV at HIV.gov.
SOURCE: U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, information launch, June 23, 2022