Epidemiological Profile of HIV/AIDS in Minnesota
Late Testers in Minnesota
A characteristic of the HIV epidemic that impacts both prevention and care services is the percentage of cases that are considered late testers. Late testers are defined as cases who had their first positive HIV test within one year of receiving an AIDS diagnosis. An AIDS diagnosis so close to initial diagnosis with HIV infection represents missed opportunities for both prevention and medical care. The percentage of late testers in Minnesota is computed using data from the HIV/AIDS Surveillance System (eHARS) on date of initial diagnosis and date of AIDS diagnosis.
Since 2000, approximately one third of all new HIV cases diagnosed in Minnesota have either been AIDS at first diagnosis, or have progressed to an AIDS diagnosis within one year of initial diagnosis with HIV (non-AIDS) infection. However, this overall stability masks important differences by demographic characteristics.
The most significant differences occur by race/ethnicity, with the proportion of late testers in 2014 among African-born (40%) and whites (29%) being higher than that among Hispanic (15%) and African Americans (16%). Similar data for American Indians and Asian/Pacific Islanders in a single year had fewer than 10 cases and are considered not stable.
The percentage of late testers is also higher among foreign-born cases compared to other cases. In 2014, 41% of foreign-born cases were late testers compared to 30% of US-born cases.
Differences by age are as expected with the percentage of late testers increasing with age at time of diagnosis. In 2013, 8% of those diagnosed between the ages of 13 and 24 were late testers compared to 37% of those 45 years and older.
Over the past ten years, the percentage of late testers by geography has varied greatly from 46% in greater Minnesota compared to 29% in the TGA in 2010 to 26% in greater Minnesota compared to 30% in the TGA in 2013. The combined percentage of late testers from 2004-2013 is 34% in Greater Minnesota compared to 31% in the TGA.