Proportion of Cancer Survivors Undergoing HIV Testing Varies

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Proportion of cancer patients undergoing HIV testing varies by demographic.
Proportion of cancer patients undergoing HIV testing varies by demographic.

The proportion of cancer survivors undergoing HIV testing varies by state and demographic and health-related factors, according to a study published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

Jun Li, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues used data from the 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to estimate the proportion of cancer survivors in the United States tested for HIV.

The researchers found that 41 percent of cancer survivors under age 65 years had ever had an HIV test. The proportion of survivors tested was highest among those aged 25 to 34 years, non-Hispanic blacks, and cervical cancer survivors (72.2, 59.5, and 51.2 percent, respectively).

RELATED: Biomarkers of HIV-associated Cancer

The proportion tested varied from a high of 68.3 percent in the District of Columbia to a low of 24.1 percent in Nebraska.

Being non-Hispanic black or Hispanic, being younger, having higher education, not being married or living with a partner, not being disabled, and having medical cost concerns were factors associated with HIV testing. Among females only, having an AIDS-related cancer correlated with HIV testing.

"Our study points to the need for public health interventions to promote HIV testing among cancer survivors," the authors write.


  1. Li, Jun, MD, PhD, MPH, et al. "Testing for Human Immunodeficiency Virus Among Cancer Survivors Under Age 65 in the United States." CDC. DOI: November 13, 2014.

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