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January 6, 2012

1 in 5 Sexually Active Teens Have Been Tested for HIV

About one in five sexually active high school students have ever been tested for HIV, according to a MedPage Today article on findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Researchers found that testing was more common among students who reported a behavior that increases their risk of acquiring the virus. The findings were derived from a 2009 survey given to a representative sample of students in grades 9 through 12. All told, 16,410 students returned usable data, and slightly less than half—7,591—reported ever having had sexual intercourse. Among those, only 22.6 percent reported that they had been tested at any time for HIV (excluding tests done for blood donation). The CDC researchers cautioned that the study was cross-sectional, so that the relationship between testing and risk behaviors could not be established. They also noted the data are self-reported and could have built-in biases. The survey did not ask about same-sex behavior, which omits an important risk group, and the results only apply to high schoolers.

To read the MedPage article, click here.

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