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Large UK study shows low rates of HIV testing, even among those who think they are at risk of HIV
Roger Pebody, 2015-12-21 09:20:00

A major household survey of adults in the UK shows that, even among people who perceive themselves to be at risk of HIV infection, only 14% had recently taken an HIV test. While people with riskier sexual behaviour and people who were aware of their vulnerability to HIV were more likely to take a test than other people, a majority in this group had never taken an HIV test.

Very few men who have sex with men (MSM) followed the recommendation that they take an HIV test at least once a year. Testing rates were also low in black African people.

The data come from the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal), conducted in 2010-2012. As this study recruited a large, representative sample from households throughout Great Britain, it is more likely than most other studies to give an accurate picture of HIV testing behaviours across the population.

The new analysis is published online ahead of print in AIDS. A report from Natsal showing that testing rates have increased since the 1990s was published in The Lancet in 2013.