HIV Testing Plummeted During Pandemic

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By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, June 27, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Testing for HIV suffered a crisp setback during the archetypal twelvemonth of the pandemic, caller authorities information shows.

The fig of HIV tests funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and administered successful wellness attraction settings dropped 43% betwixt 2019 and 2020, the survey showed. Tests administered successful non-health attraction settings dropped 50% that aforesaid year.

The driblet affected groups disproportionately affected by HIV, the CDC said, which highlights an urgent request to standard up investigating and trim disparities among those who could astir payment from HIV care.

"We welcomed 2020 with optimism. New HIV infections were declining, and attraction to HIV was increasing. But conscionable arsenic COVID-19 disrupted our lives, it changed the people of HIV prevention," said Dr. Jonathan Mermin, manager of the CDC's National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention.

“Now we are astatine a crossroads," helium said successful a CDC quality release. "Will we judge the monolithic reductions successful HIV testing, oregon volition we bounce backmost stronger?”

In non-health attraction settings, investigating declined 49% among cheery and bisexual men, 47% among transgender people, 46% among Hispanic and Latino radical and 44% among Black people.

Calling HIV investigating the span to highly effectual attraction and prevention, the CDC said delayed diagnoses tin pb to antagonistic wellness consequences and accrued HIV transmission.

The CDC recommends that everyone ages 13 to 64 should beryllium tested for HIV astatine slightest erstwhile and that immoderate should beryllium tested astatine slightest annually.

These findings adhd to different concerning findings that showed a steep simplification successful HIV diagnoses and a slowing of pre-exposure prophylaxis prescriptions (PrEP) from 2019 to 2020.

"Everyone should bask bully wellness -- and getting an HIV trial is portion of a palmy program to bash so. Some radical whitethorn not get tested for galore reasons, specified arsenic concerns astir HIV stigma, homophobia, transphobia and a big of different -isms and phobias. Or they whitethorn not cognize that an HIV trial could payment them," said Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, manager of the CDC's Division of HIV Prevention.

"We indispensable proceed moving unneurotic to flooded these and different factors that basal successful the mode of equitable HIV prevention and care," Daskalakis said successful the release.

The CDC encouraged state, local, wellness attraction and community-based partnerships to summation entree to investigating services, with strategies specified arsenic self-testing and regular opt-out screening successful wellness attraction settings.

National HIV Testing Day is June 27. Find fast, escaped and confidential HIV investigating astatine the CDC's Get Tested oregon by calling 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636). HIV self-tests whitethorn beryllium purchased astatine a pharmacy oregon online. Check to spot if your section wellness section oregon different enactment is providing a accelerated self-test for a reduced outgo oregon for free.

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SOURCE: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, quality release, June 23, 2022

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