Vital Signs: HIV Testing and Diagnosis Among Adults – United States, 2001-2009

The Human Immune Deficiency has continued to kill more people in the United States even when people are aware of how it’s transmitted and how it can be avoided. This report analyses a report (Satcher et. al., 2010) that was posted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The regular test for HIV is being encouraged because recent medical reports indicate that there are many people who are infected by this virus but they are not aware. Most people ignore the evaluation process when they are not experiencing any health problems. They only get examined at a later stage when the situation has already worsened.

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Early discovery can prevent further spread of the virus into AIDS. The majority of people who have been tested were not willing to get examined hence they were tested because of other reasons such as during blood donation where it is mandatory for the donor’s blood to be examined (Taubes, 2007).

CDC relied on the information provided from the survey conducted by National Health Interview between 2001 and 2009 to establish cases of early discovery of HIV. Additionally, this information was used to determine the geographical locations that had the highest infection rate. CDC also obtained information from the national HIV surveillance system which was useful in identifying the number of people who voluntarily availed themselves for the examination.

The information from these findings suggest that HIV affects homosexuals than men who are have straight sexual orientation. Besides that African-Americans are more prone to this virus than other races. Urban centers were found to have the highest number of infected persons. Of late most people are being discovered early enough because most people want to know their status.

The CDC report indicates that more men suffer from HIV than women. Rothan (2002) argues that this could be due to their polygamous nature. If HIV is discovered early the patient has higher chances of living longer than when examination has not taken place. When one knows that he/she is infected with HIV, he/she may avoid spreading the virus to uninfected persons.

For instance, pregnant women are forced to take HIV evaluation because if they are infected they will extend this virus to their new born babies hence when they are found to be positive they are discouraged from breast feeding the child once it’s born. This test has led to decline in child mortality. Incase a person tests positive he/she is introduced to retroviral medicine which is meant to decline the multiplication of the virus which in return prevents the virus from advancing into AIDS.

In the past decades many people were dying because of this disease because they could only get tested in health clinics and most people were afraid of going for the examination because they felt that they would die earlier due to stress of living with the stigma. Nowadays more people are being tested and there are few cases of people who realize they have this virus at a later stage.

The major advantage of early testing is that the patient will be aware of his/her condition and thus will be able to maintain his/her health (Rothan, 2002). That’s why nowadays people who die from HIV look very healthy as opposed to earlier on when people suffering from HIV used to look very thin.

In conclusion, the data collected by CDC is essential in planning for health care in areas most prone to HIV and in setting policies that can reduce the pandemic. CDC has been campaigning for early and voluntary examination in most countries from all over the world and thus more testing centers have been established.

The media is also being used to sensitize people on the importance of knowing one’s status because if one is negative he/she has to retain that status because the status is not permanent. More efforts are being made towards discovering people living with HIV because those who are not aware of their status are the ones who spreads the virus unintentionally. In some states testing is done in residential areas from door to door because many people argue that they are very busy to go for the test.


Rothman, K.J. (2002). Epidemiology: An introduction. New York: Oxford University Press.

Satcher, et al. (2010, December 3). “Vital Signs: HIV Testing and Diagnosis Among Adults – United States, 2001-2009”. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Retrieved from

Taubes, G. (2007, September 16).”Do we really know what makes us healthy?” New York Times. Retrieved from


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