HIV testing among sexually active women and women with high risk behaviors is an important strategy to reduce the incidence of HIV infection. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of HIV testing and associated factors as well as the sexual and high risk behaviors among adult women.
A total of 2,699 U.S. women aged 20 or older were analyzed using NHANES (2011-2012). Descriptive statistics and Chi-square tests were done using SAS 9.3 Proc Survey procedure.
The analysis showed that, nationwide, 41.1% of women had ever been tested for HIV. Among those women, 93.9% had vaginal sex, 79.8% oral sex, 30.4% anal sex, and 6.1% had sex with other women. On average, they had sex for the first time at age 18 and had about eight male sex partners during their lifetime. About 90% of those women had never used protection during oral sex and 52.8% were not using a condom at intercourse. In addition, 20.8% were using marijuana on daily basis, and 6.5% were engaged in heavy drinking at some point in their lives. Results showed significant difference in HIV testing by access to the health care (P=0.004), education (P=0.01), age (P<0.0001) and race (P<0.0001). Non-Hispanic Asian women, those with less than high school education, women who were more than 50 years old and those who didn’t visit a health care professional for more than 3 years had the lowest HIV testing prevalence.
The results of this analysis showed that prevalence of HIV testing among women is pretty low. Although most of the women had sex experiences, more than half of them were not using condom during sex. In addition, women who had less than high school education were non-Hispanic Asian, more than 50 years old and didn’t have checkup for more than 3 years were less likely to have had an HIV test. Our findings highlight the need to provide access to routine HIV screening for all women.
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