Background: The majority of people living with HIV/AIDS in China are unaware of their serostatus, and increasing the utilization of HIV testing may help to control the epidemic.
Methods: This longitudinal study was conducted among female sex workers (FSWs) in 2 cities in Yunnan Province, China. Participants were surveyed in face-to-face interviews and tested for HIV and STDs. Factors associated with HIV-testing history and HIV-test follow-up were analyzed.
Results: Of the 1642 study participants, 291 (17.7%) had been previously tested and 868 (52.9%) returned for post-test follow-up. Factors associated with having a previous HIV test included attending the Kaiyuan study (aOR: 4.9, 95% CI: 2.3-10.1), ≥ 9 years of schooling (aOR: 10.9, 95% CI: 2.6-45.5), <5 clients in the recent week (aOR: 1.7, 95% CI: 1.2-2.3), having a regular sexual partner (aOR: 1.9, 95% CI: 1.4-2.5), illegal drug use history (aOR: 2.2, 95% CI: 1.5-3.1), pelvic pain in the past 12 months (aOR: 1.9, 95% CI: 1.1-3.6), HIV-seropositivity (aOR: 1.8, 95% CI: 1.2-2.8), and high perception of HIV risk (aOR: 1.5, 95% CI: 1.1-2.2). FSWs who had ≥ 9 years of schooling (aOR: 1.4, 95% CI: 1.1-1.9), had <5 clients in the recent week (aOR: 1.3, 95% CI: 1.1-1.6), or were from another province (aOR: 1.9, 95% CI: 1.4-2.5) or city (aOR: 1.4, 95% CI: 1.1-1.8) were more likely to follow-up.
Conclusions: The low HIV-testing history and follow-up rates found in this is study is a significant public health problem as many high-risk individuals are not aware of their serostatus. Immediate action needs to be taken to increase the utilization of HIV testing services and notify people of their HIV status.