In a journal editorial, CDC experts noted that getting tested for HIV is key to reducing risk behaviors and seeking appropriate care. To that end, the agency is currently supporting an extensive HIV testing outreach program in all of the urban centers included in the new analysis, and "in the first three years of this program, 2.8 million tests were conducted, and approximately 18,000 persons were newly diagnosed with HIV infection," they wrote.
The findings support previous research showing that poorer, straight people are at increased risk for HIV infection. The authors of the new study said there is a critical need for HIV prevention and testing programs tailored to this group of people, as well as finding care for those who test positive for HIV.
In the editorial, CDC experts said that there is also a need to tackle social, economic and other factors that affect this group of people. This would include efforts to "reduce stigma and make HIV testing accessible, affordable, and culturally acceptable," and boost accessibility to care and treatment. Such efforts "could lead to reductions in HIV incidence and health inequities," the authors wrote.
The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has more about HIV/AIDS.
-- Robert Preidt
SOURCES: Janet Goldberg, executive director, Program for AIDS Treatment & Health, The Brooklyn Hospital Center, New York City; U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, news release, March 14, 2013
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