July 24, 2019 – Low Testing
Anchor lead: The majority of US adults haven’t been tested for HIV, Elizabeth Tracey reports
All adults should be tested for HIV at least once, the CDC has recommended for several years. Yet their own recent analysis found that nationally, less than 40% of adults have been tested. Even in areas known to be at risk for acquiring HIV, the number still remains below 50% on average. Joseph Cofrancesco, an HIV expert at Johns Hopkins, says we must move the needle on testing to achieve our goals.
Cofrancesco: Let’s take a few steps back. What this is really about is trying to end the AIDS epidemic by eliminating new infections. We have the power to do that today. If everyone was tested and everyone tested got treated, and those who were negative who were at risk used protection and/or PrEP, we could eliminate the infection. The problem along the way with each of those and what this report demonstrated is we’re not even getting to that first step of testing everyone. :29
Cofrancesco says universal testing would also remove stigma, a major barrier at this point. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.