HIV Testing Among Black and Hispanic Immigrants in the United States

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Abstract

Late presentation is common among black and Hispanic US immigrants living with HIV. Little is known about HIV testing in this population because data are aggregated into racial and ethnic categories without regard to nativity. This study was undertaken to determine HIV testing patterns in these populations. We used data from the National Health Interview Survey (2007–2010), a nationally representative source of HIV testing data disaggregated by nativity. The sample consisted of 10,397 immigrants (83.9% Hispanic white, 13.1% non-Hispanic black, and 3.0% Hispanic black). The majority of participants were from the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico (81.5%). Hispanic white immigrants were least likely to have undergone testing compared with non-Hispanic and Hispanic black immigrants (46.7% vs. 70.5% and 65.8%). Among immigrants with known risk factors or prior STDs, 59.2% and 74.8% reported previous HIV testing. Immigrants who had not recently talked to a healthcare provider were less likely to report testing: Hispanic white (AOR 0.65, 95% CI 0.58–0.72), non-Hispanic black (AOR 0.64, 95% CI 0.48–0.85), and Hispanic black (AOR 0.26, 95% CI 0.14–0.48). Only 17.2% of all immigrants intended to undergo HIV testing in the 12 months following participation in the survey. Among all three racial and ethnic groups, immigrants who reported a history of prior STDs were more likely to intend to test for HIV in the future. Many black and Hispanic immigrants to the United States have not undergone HIV testing. Interventions to increase access to HIV testing and awareness of transmission risk should be developed.

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