A number of groups are working on ways to improve access to HIV testing for teenagers and young adults, writes the Geisel School of Medicine’s Tim Lahey in an opinion piece on the New York Times’ Well blog.
“Ten thousand people ages 13 to 24 are given HIV diagnoses every year in the United States, and epidemiologists estimate fully half of young people with HIV do not know it,” Lahey writes. Late diagnoses, he adds, “can undermine the life-saving benefits of antiviral medications, leading to greater risk of AIDS and death.”
According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, five times fewer young people are being tested for HIV than recommended by national guidelines.
Lahey, an associate professor of medicine, writes that a Los Angeles school district working with a company to provide students with a free iPhone app that helps them locate HIV testing facilities has delivered test results to more than 200,000 young people.
An HIV positive patient of Lahey’s and the other 10,000 young people who he says will receive HIV diagnoses every year “deserve more. They need evidence-based sex education, supportive parenting and better access to the HIV testing information that could save their lives.”
Read the full story, published 4/26/16 by The New York Times.