Purpose: To describe HIV testing among Deep South residents aged 50 to 64 years old with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and/or diabetes.
Methods: Deep South residents from Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina who completed the 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey were sampled. Associations between chronic health conditions (CVD, diabetes) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing were examined.
Results: Fewer than one-third (30.8%) of the sample (n = 1017) reported that they had been tested for HIV. Of the weighted sample of adults tested for HIV, the mean age--56.63 +/- 0.20 SE (95% confidence interval [CI], 56.24-57.03)--was significantly lower than that of those who had never been tested for HIV--57.60 +/- 0.12 SE (95% CI, 57.37-57.84; p < .0001). Although not statistically significant, HIV testing was slightly higher among men (53.3%) (p = .9432). Persons with CVD or diabetes were 22% less likely to report that they had been tested for HIV, compared to those with both CVD and diabetes (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 0.776; 95% CI, 0.611-0.985).
Conclusions: Chronic conditions (CVD, diabetes) among HIV-infected persons can be adversely affected by antiretroviral regimens. All adults 50 to 64 years old should be routinely offered an HIV test if their HIV serostatus is unknown, regardless of perceived risk for HIV/AIDS. Our findings suggest that linking HIV testing with routine checkups for persons with CVD and/or diabetes is a potentially missed opportunity for earlier diagnosis of HIV infection, especially among older adults who are at a greater risk of being diagnosed with AIDS within 1 year of an initial HIV-positive diagnosis.