Recent HIV Testing Prevalence, Determinants, and Disparities Among U.S. Older Adult Respondents to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

Sex Transm Dis. 2015 Aug;42(8):405-10. doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000305.


Background: Although routine human immune deficiency virus (HIV) testing during health care visits is recommended for most adults, many older adults (i.e., ages 50-64 years) do not receive it. This study identified factors associated with HIV testing in the past 12 months (i.e., recent HIV testing) among US adults in the 3 categories of older adulthood (50-54, 55-59, and 60-64 years) for which routine HIV testing is recommended.

Method: This was a cross-sectional analysis of data from US older adult respondents to the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. We calculated prevalence (proportions) of HIV testing by age category and race/ethnicity. Using multiple logistic regression, we identified predisposing, enabling, and need factors associated with recent HIV testing within and across age categories, by race/ethnicity and controlling for covariates.

Results: HIV testing prevalence was low (<5%), varied by race/ethnicity, and decreased with age. Within and across age categories, the odds of testing were highest among blacks (odds ratio [OR], 3.47; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.82-4.25) and higher among Latinos (OR, 2.06; 95% CI, 1.50-2.84) and the oldest and youngest categories of American Indians/Alaska Natives (OR, 2.48; 95% CI, 1.11-5.55; OR, 2.98; 95% CI, 1.49-5.95) than among whites. Those reporting a recent doctor visit (OR, 2.32; 95% CI, 1.92-2.74) or HIV risk behaviors (OR, 3.50; 95% CI, 2.67-4.59) had higher odds of HIV testing.

Conclusion: Regardless of risk, the oldest older adults, whites, and older women may forego HIV testing. Doctor visits may facilitate HIV testing. Additional research is needed to understand why eligible older adults seen by providers may not be screened for HIV infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • African Americans
  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Early Diagnosis
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence*
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Health Behavior
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / organization & administration*
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Prevalence
  • Risk-Taking
  • United States / epidemiology