HIV Testing Experience in New York City: Offer of and Willingness to Test in the Context of New Legal Support of Routine Testing

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Abstract

Background:

In the United States, routine HIV testing is recommended for persons aged 13–64 years. In 2010, New York State passed a law mandating offer of testing in most health-care settings. We report on the consumer perspective in New York City (NYC) shortly after the law's enactment.

Methods:

We analyzed data from a 2011 telephone survey representative of NYC adults aged 18–64 years (n = 1,846). This analysis focused on respondents' report of HIV test offer at last clinical visit and of willingness to test if recommended by their doctor. Offer and willingness were estimated by age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, income, marital status, sexual identity, partner number, and HIV testing history; associations were examined using multivariable regression.

Results:

Among NYC adults, 35.7% reported an HIV test in the past year and 31.8% had never tested. Among 86.7% with a clinical visit in the past year, 31.4% reported being offered a test at last visit. Offer was associated with younger age, race/ethnicity other than white, non-Hispanic, lower income, and previous testing. Only 6.7% of never-testers were offered a test at last clinical visit. Willingness to test if recommended was high overall (90.2%) and across factors examined.

Conclusions:

After a new law was enacted in support of routine HIV testing, approximately 1 in 3 New Yorkers aged 18–64 years were offered a test at last clinical visit; 9 in 10 were willing to test if recommended by their doctor. This suggests that patient attitudes will not be a barrier to complete implementation of the law.

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