5 Reasons We Are Not Getting Tested

By: Guest

The importance of getting tested for HIV is nothing new. We all know that knowing your status can help prevent the spread of the disease and, if positive, know your status early can help you lead a long, healthy life. African Americans face the most severe burden of HIV and AIDS of any racial/ethnic group in the nation, accounting for almost half of all new infections in the U.S. each year.

With that said – its fascinating to see that in a recent survey conducted by OraQuick, the maker of the first in-home rapid HIV test, why African Americans are not getting tested.

Black HIV RibbonThe top five reasons were:

1.    I get tested regularly, so this does not apply to me (Keep up the good work!)
2.    I am not at risk
3.    I am too afraid to find out my status
4.    I am embarrassed to go to my doctor for an HIV test
5.    I am afraid people will judge me if I get tested for HIV

Fear, embarrassment and stigmas around the HIV/AIDS all stand as major barriers to combating this disease. I’d love to provide you with all the details and data from the study, which found wide disparities between HIV risk perception and behavior, underscoring the need for more education and awareness around HIV testing.

Here are some statistics from the OraQuick survey:

OraQuick® Consumer Survey – June 2013

Survey Audiences

500 consumers between the ages of 18 – 40

 50% female 50% male

 50% in a committed relationship, 50% single

 Identify themselves as “sexually active”

500 African Americans between the ages of 18 – 40

 50% female 50% male

 50% in a committed relationship, 50% single

 Identify themselves as “sexually active”

Key Findings

Consumer:

 Nearly 90% (87.8%) of consumers do not feel they are at risk for HIV, yet more than 75% have

engaged in behavior that puts them at risk for HIV/AIDS

 Consumers are putting themselves at risk for HIV:

o More than half (52.5%) were not tested for HIV with their partner before becoming sexually

active

o 49.1% of consumers do not always make sure their partner has been recently tested for

HIV/AIDS, before engaging in unprotected sex

 More than half (54.7%) of consumers who consider themselves to be sexually active have not been

tested for HIV in the past 12 months

 Nearly half (48.1%) of consumers have not been tested for HIV because they feel they are not at

risk

 14% of consumers are afraid to learn their HIV status; 11% are embarrassed

African American:

 More than 80% (80.6%) of African Americans do not feel they are at risk for HIV

 More than 70% (73.3%) of African Americans have engaged in behavior that puts them at risk for

HIV/AIDS

 Only a little more than half (58.1%) were tested for HIV with their partner before becoming sexually

active

 45.5% of African Americans do not always make sure their partner has been recently tested for

HIV/AIDS, before engaging in unprotected sex

 More than 1 in 4 African Americans choose not to wear a condom because they feel “sex feels

better without a condom”

 41% of African Americans do not wear condoms because they are in a monogamous relationship

 22% of African Americans are afraid to learn their HIV status; 12.5% are embarrassed

 Nearly 30% of African Americans who have gotten tested in the past year did so because they had

engaged in risky behavior

About willwavvy

Will Wavvy has written 348 post in this blog.

My life is dedicated to educating and empowering others to make healthy relationship choices. I write about, and answer questions about relationships in my never-ending quest to help people stay in love long after they've fallen in love.