Introduction: HIV testing is the portal to serostatus knowledge that can empower linkage to care for HIV treatment and HIV prevention. However, young people's access to HIV testing is uneven worldwide. The objective of this paper is to review the context and concerns faced by youth around HIV testing in low- as well as high-income country settings.
Discussion: HIV testing is a critical entry point for primary and secondary prevention as well as care and treatment for young people including key populations of vulnerable youth. We provide a framework for thinking about the role of testing in the continuum of prevention and care for young people. Brief case study examples from Kenya and the US illustrate some of the common barriers and issues involved for young people.
Conclusions: Young people worldwide need more routine access to HIV testing services that effectively address the developmental, socio-political and other issues faced by young women and men.
Keywords: HIV continuum of care; HIV testing; adolescents; development; key populations; youth.