The risk of HIV transmission is lower when people who are infected with HIV receive ART to suppress their viral load. Despite CDC’s recommendations and efforts to increase HIV testing.132 One survey found that only about 19 percent of people aged 15 to 44 were tested for HIV during the past year.133 This means that people who may have HIV are unaware of their status and, thus, are not receiving ART, which increases the transmission rate nation-wide.
Because HIV, drug use, and addiction are inextricably linked, one strategy for reducing incidence is to implement HIV testing at SUD treatment facilities.134 An analysis of nationally representative data from privately funded SUD treatment programs found that most programs provided education and prevention services. While the proportion of programs offering on-site HIV testing and the percentage of patients who received testing increased in recent years,134 fewer than one-third of programs offered on-site testing. In those programs, fewer than one-third of patients received testing.134
NIDA is collaborating with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and others to expand rapid HIV testing to drug treatment facilities to better identify HIV infections and engage patients more efficiently in comprehensive treatment for both substance use disorder and HIV infection. Many health insurance providers cover HIV testing without a co-pay or deductible.135 To find a local HIV testing center visit: https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/.