Although HIV testing is recommended for persons with Hepatitis C infection who are at risk for HIV, little is known about HIV testing in this population.
Dr Edmund Bini and colleagues prospectively collected data in 4364 Hepatitis C-infected patients at 24 Veterans Affairs medical centers across the United States.
The research team also assessed demographics, risk factors for HIV infection, and self-reported information on HIV testing.
Overall, 77% had been tested for HIV at least once.
The team noted 15% were never tested, 7% did not know if they were tested, and 2% declined to answer.
|77% had been tested for HIV at least once|
|Journal of Clinical Oncology|
Multivariable analysis identified injection drug use, and needlestick injury were independently associated with HIV testing.
The researchers found that sex with a same-sex partner, and a greater number of lifetime sexual partners were associated with HIV testing.
Sex with an injection drug user was a factor independently associated with HIV testing.
The researchers observed that at least 1 risk factor for HIV infection was present in 85% of the 646 patients who were never HIV tested.
Among the 3350 subjects who were tested for HIV, 8% were positive, and 88% were negative.
The team noted that a further 2% did not know the results of their test, and less than 1% declined to answer.
Multivariable analysis identified African American and Hispanic race/ethnicity, and an income of $10,000 or less was associated with HIV seropositivity.
Sex with a same-sex partner, and sex with an injection drug user as the only variables that were independently associated with HIV seropositivity.
Dr Bini's concludes, “Although a substantial proportion of Hepatitis C-infected patients have been tested for HIV, missed opportunities for early diagnosis of HIV infection exist.”
“Public health strategies to improve HIV testing among patients with chronic Hepatitis C infection are needed.”