Assessment of HIV Testing of Urban Injection Drug Users: Implications for Expansion of HIV Testing and Prevention Efforts
January 17, 2007
In the current study, the researchers set out to "determine the extent of HIV testing among urban injection drug users (IDUs) to assess whether an expansion of targeted testing programs would be consistent with national goals to identify previously undetected infections."
Chain referral or time-location sampling was used to recruit IDUs in five U.S. cities (Oakland, Calif.; Chicago; Hartford and New Haven, Conn.; and Springfield, Mass.) The recruits were questioned about HIV testing, and factors associated with HIV testing were analyzed.
Of 1,543 IDUs, 93 percent had been tested. Among those tested who did not report having been told they were HIV-positive, 90 percent had been tested in the past three years. Women and syringe exchange clients were more likely to have been tested ever and in the recent past. The researchers estimated less than 40,000 urban IDUs in the United States have undetected infections.
"Testing for HIV has reached the vast majority of IDUs through the current options. Expending scarce prevention money to expand testing of IDUs is unlikely to be productive. Instead, resources should be used for proven HIV-prevention strategies including syringe exchange, drug treatment, and secondary prevention for those who are HIV-positive," the authors concluded.
American Journal of Public Health
01.07; Vol. 97; No. 1: P. 110-116; Robert Heimer, Ph.D.; Lauretta E. Grau, Ph.D.; Erin Curtin, M.P.H.; Kaveh Khoshnood, Ph.D.; Merrill Singer, Ph.D.
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.