(CNN)Young people seem to be less likely to get tested for HIV than older adults, and a new study now reveals the reasons why.
In the United States, 38.8% of women and 53.8% of men aged 15 to 44 reported they had never been tested for HIV outside of donating blood or blood products between 2011 and 2015, according to a new study published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Statistics Reports on Thursday (PDF).
Yet among those 15 to 24, the percentage who reported they had never been tested soared to 63.9% of women and 73.7% of men.


The most common reason reported by women and men for having never been tested was that they thought they were “unlikely to have been exposed to HIV,” according to the study.”It was very interesting to see that the percentages of never been tested was significantly lower for women compared with men. And, never been tested for HIV was lower among those who had any HIV risk-related sexual or drug behaviors in the past year compared with those who did not report these behaviors,” said Isaedmarie Febo-Vazquez, a researcher at the CDC and first author of the study.

女性と男性がテストされていないことが報告された最も一般的な理由は、HIVに曝される可能性は低いと考えていたことである。「テストされていない割合が男性に比べて女性の方が有意に低くなっていることは非常に興味深いことです。これらの行動を報告しなかった人たちと一緒になった」と、CDCの研究者で最初の著者であるIsaedmarie Febo-Vazquezは語った。

“This report is adding more information and data in the area related to HIV testing,” she added. “So overall, knowing why people do not get tested is very valuable and this report was able to provide that information.”A previous study, conducted by CDC researchers and published in the journal Pediatrics in 2016, found that the percentage of young adults aged 18 to 24 who reported they have never been tested for HIV remained steady among young men, and increased significantly among young women between 2011 and 2013.

「このレポートは、HIV検査に関連する分野でさらに多くの情報とデータを追加している」と付け加えた。「全般的に、なぜ人々がテストされないのかを知ることは非常に貴重であり、このレポートはその情報を提供することができました。以前の研究では、CDCの研究者によって実施し、ジャーナル小児科に掲載された 2016年には、彼らはHIVのためにテストされていなかったと報告された18?24歳の若年成人の割合は、若い男性の間で堅調に推移し、2011年および2013年の間、若い女性の間で有意に増加したことがわかりました

Specifically, among all young women, a significant decrease in the prevalence of HIV testing was detected overall, from 42.4% ever being tested in 2011 to 39.5% in 2013, according to that previous study, which was based on data from the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.
When the data were examined by race, the researchers found HIV testing prevalence dropped among young white women from 37.2% in 2011 to 33.9% in 2013, and among young black women from 68.9% in 2011 to 59.9% in 2013.



The researchers behind that previous study wrote in the study’s abstract, “No increase in testing among young adult males and decreased testing among young adult black females is concerning given their higher risk of HIV infection.”
About 1.1 million people in the US are living with HIV, including about 166,000 who are unaware of their status, according to the CDC. As it turns out, about 30% of new HIV infections are transmitted by people whose HIV remains undiagnosed.
About 100,000 people are living with HIV in the United Kingdom, according to the agency Public Health England. Globally, about 36.7 million people are living with HIV, based on data from 2016, according to the World Health Organization.



Stephenson was “incredibly” surprised to see HIV testing trends moving in this direction among American youth, he said, especially when there are many HIV testing options available to the public, from at-home HIV testing kits to community health events that involve HIV testing.
“HIV testing has too long been seen as an episodic event — ‘I get tested if I forgot to use a condom’ — for example. Why can’t HIV testing be something that goes hand-in-hand with having our cholesterol checked every six months?” Stephenson asked.



“We don’t want the pendulum to swing back to the 1980s where we scared everybody from HIV testing. Yet we also don’t want the other extreme where it’s seen as not a health threat,” he said. “It needs to land somewhere in the middle, where it’s seen as something you just do as part of your routine health check, and if you have certain risks then you should do it more often.”



‘If you’ve ever had sex, you should have an HIV test’
Dr. Andrea Ciaranello, associate professor of medicine and infectious disease specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, noted that “it doesn’t usually make sense” to test people only once in their lives for HIV.
“Patients may not perceive themselves to be at risk for HIV, and doctors may not know whether people are at low, average or high risk for HIV. It’s important for people to realize that if you’ve ever had sex, you should have an HIV test,” said Ciaranello, who was not involved in the new CDC study.

「患者はHIV感染のリスクがあるとは考えていないかもしれませんし、医師は人々のHIV感染率が平均的に低いか高いかどうかを知ることはできません。あなたが性行為を経験したことがあるなら、あなたはHIV検査を受けるべきだということが重要だ 。」と、新しいCDC研究に関与していないCiaranelloは述べています。

While some separate, previous studies have shown that HIV testing rates are flat or declining among young people, Ciaranello said that health care providers should start talking about and offering HIV testing and prevention to young patients.
Also, “parents should begin speaking with their kids about sex and drugs, including HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, early and often,” Ciaranello said.
“My approach is generally to suggest making it mundane boring and factual, just like any other topic,” she said. “And provide age-appropriate and biologically correct information as children begin to ask more questions.”