Non-anonymous HIV screening in Taoyuan: HIV-positive rate, reason for screening, and risky sexual behavior

Lai-Chu See1,2, Chia-Ling Chen1, Yi-Lien Liu3, Wen-Chih Yang3, Hui-Chun Huang3

2012 Vol.28 NO.5

Correspondence Author: Ming-Lai-Chu See


HIV screening has a very important role in controlling the epidemic of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). However, it is common for a diagnosis of HIV infection to be delayed. In Taiwan, people can choose to undergo anonymous testing, non-anonymous testing, or self-testing to find out their HIV status. The findings from anonymous HIV screening have been frequently reported. However, there has been no such report on non-anonymous HIV screening. We analyzed data from non-anonymous HIV screening and questionnaire surveys at participating medical institutions in Taoyuan in 2010 to estimate the HIV-positive rate, and to find out risky sexual behaviors, and the reasons why individuals underwent screening. We slightly modified the questionnaire used by the Taiwan Centers of Disease Control (CDC) for their free-of-charge, anonymous HIV screening and counseling. In 2010, 28 participating medical institutions in Taoyuan County offered non-anonymous HIV screening. A total of 6,097 individuals underwent screening, and 2 were HIV-positive. Hence, the HIV-positive rate was 33 per 100,000 (=2 per 6097). The 95% confidence interval was 9 to 118 per 100,000 and encompassed the HIV prevalence rate in Taiwan. Many screenees (25.0%-34.1%) did not indicate their reason for taking the test, and 66.1% had not been previously screened for HIV. The most common reason for taking the test was purchasing sex within the previous three months (3.0%), followed by occurrence of a one-night stand (1.5%). The HIV-positive rate in non-anonymous HIV screening was similar to the HIV prevalence rate in Taiwan. Individuals who underwent non-anonymous HIV screening were not in a high-risk group for HIV infection. Most did not indicate their reason for screening. We suggest that the questionnaire should be revised to determine screenees reasons for seeking testing, their knowledge of HIV/AIDS, and their satisfaction with AIDS counseling.