|HIV/AIDS Day Red Umbrella-, Richmond, VA, 2011|
The investigators analyzed surveillance data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding HIV diagnoses during 2005 through 2008 in 37 states.
The average annual rate of diagnosis (per 100 000 persons) for older persons was 9.8. Rates among older Blacks (49.2) and Hispanics/Latinos (19.5) were 12.6 and 5.0 times, respectively, the rate among older Whites (3.9). The rates of HIV diagnosis among younger Blacks (102.5) and Hispanics/Latinos (39.0) were 7.7 and 2.9 times, respectively, the rate among younger Whites (13.3).
Without question, racial and ethnic disparities in HIV diagnosis rates exist. Older persons are more likely than younger persons to receive a late HIV diagnosis. In my opinion this stems from a bias that 'old' people are not likely to have HIV risk factors resulting in missed HIV testing opportunities.
HIV testing should no longer be risk factor based. The American College of Physicians now recommends routine HIV screening for all patients. HIV diagnosis leads to treatment and treatment is prevention.
I couldn't agree more.