Most sexually active students have not been tested for HIV

June 1, 2012

To assess the relationship between HIV testing and HIV-related risk behaviors in US high school students, investigators examined self-reported data from the 2009 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey for 7,591 students in grades 9 through 12 who reported ever having sexual intercourse.

To assess the relationship between HIV testing and HIV-related risk behaviors in US high school students, investigators examined self-reported data from the 2009 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey for 7,591 students in grades 9 through 12 who reported ever having sexual intercourse.

Of these students, less than a quarter (22.6%) had been tested for HIV. Most likely to be tested were students who had engaged in certain HIV-related risk behaviors: ever having injected any illegal drug, ever being forced to have sexual intercourse, not using a condom at last sexual intercourse, or having had sexual intercourse with 4 or more persons overall. However, no association was found between HIV testing and having sexual intercourse before age 13 years or drug or alcohol use before the last sexual intercourse. White students (54.9% of the sample) were significantly more likely than those of another race/ethnicity to have undergone HIV testing. The odds of having HIV testing also were increased in girls, non-Hispanic blacks, and those in the 11th and 12th grades (Balaji AB, et al. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2012;166[4]:331-336).

COMMENTARY