HIV Surveillance for the U.S. between 1981 and 2008 indicates nearly 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV; of those, 240,000 are unaware of their HIV-positive status. Since 2008, over 500,000 African Americans were estimated to be living with HIV, with 21.4% undiagnosed. A critical strategy for preventing HIV infections is to increase the number of persons who are aware of their status.
In 2007, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the Expanded Testing Initiative (ETI) to increase awareness of HIV status. The first program under the ETI, Expanded and Integrated Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Testing for Populations Disproportionately Affected by HIV, Primarily African Americans, was developed to ensure that persons in high-burden areas received HIV testing and that newly diagnosed persons were linked to HIV medical care and prevention services. It was followed by the Expanded Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Testing for Disproportionately Affected Populations in 2010, which expanded routine HIV testing services to new clinical venues and to reach other at-risk populations including, African American and Hispanic men and women, men who have sex with men, and injection drug users regardless of race and ethnicity. The project was incorporated in 2012 into the Comprehensive Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Prevention Programs for Health Departments, and will run through 2017. The project is intended to sustain progress made under the previous programs.
The overall aim of the Expanded Testing Initiative is to: (1) significantly increase the number of persons tested in jurisdictions with a high rate of HIV among disproportionately affected populations and (2) support implementation of the CDCs Revised Recommendations for HIV Testing of Adults, Adolescents, and Pregnant Women in Health-Care Settings.
The University of South Florida Center for HIV Education and Research has collaborated with the Florida Department of Health to provide training, technical assistance and HIV/AIDS resource materials to clinic providers and staff to assist with increasing the number of healthcare facilities that offer HIV testing and to work with project providers on program sustainability.