LOS ANGELES COUNTY: More Adults Testing for HIV
In Los Angeles County, more adults with high-risk sexual behaviors, are being tested for HIV, Reuters Health/Journal of the American Medical Association reports. Dr. Loren Miller of the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance and a team of researchers reviewed data from the county's Department of Health Services involving responses from 8,004 households. Publishing their report in the Dec. 15th issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, they found that 35.5%, or 2.35 million residents, have reported testing for HIV in the past two years. Also, of the 5.6% engaging in high-risk behavior -- defined as "having ... 2 (or more) partners in the past 12 months and not always using condoms" -- 52% report having an HIV test within the previous 12-month period. Of the high-risk group, 64% were heterosexual men. Further, minority populations most affected by the disease showed the highest rates of testing, suggesting "that local outreach efforts to target these populations have been successful." Although testing rates have increased, researchers say the numbers "still remain suboptimal," concluding, "Future public health campaigns and outreach efforts to increase HIV testing should intensify efforts to target those who continue to engage in high-risk sexual behavior" (1/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.