Although US Latinos represent 20% of all new HIV infections, they account for 36% of late testers (1).
Given that some of the factors associated with LT might also be associated with delayed entry into HIV care, the study sample was further restricted to include only those late testers, with timely entry defined as joining the study cohort within 1 year of one's first reported positive HIV test.
Ninety percent (n = 339) of late testers had an AIDS diagnosis within the first 3 months after their first reported positive HIV test, including 49% (n = 184) who were concurrently diagnosed with HIV and AIDS at entry (Figure 2).
Our finding that men are more likely than women to be late testers is consistent with studies reported in Venezuela, France, England, Italy, and the US (18-24) and is consistent with findings that males tend to have lower utilization rates of health services compared to females (23, 25).
Of these, 41% were in persons (referred to as late testers) in whom AIDS was diagnosed within 1 year of their initial HIV diagnosis * (4).
During 2001-2005, a total of 4,315 persons with HIV infection in South Carolina were reported to HARS, of whom 1,784 (41.3%) were late testers, including 710 (16.5%) who had AIDS diagnosed within 30 days of their initial HIV diagnoses.
A total of 7,988 health-care visits were recorded for the 1,302 late testers who had previously visited a health-care facility.
Using the date on which AIDS was diagnosed as supplied by state or local reporting systems, they defined participants as early testers (those who had had their first positive HIV test five or more years before the diagnosis of AIDS, or had gone five or more years without a diagnosis of AIDS after their first positive HIV test) or late testers (those who had had their first positive HIV test one year or less before the diagnosis of AIDS).
Among respondents with AIDS, 24% were classified as early testers and 45% were classified as late testers; the 21% who tested positive for HIV more than one year but less than five years before AIDS diagnosis and the 8% for whom it was not possible to determine the relationship between HIV testing and AIDS diagnosis dates were excluded.
sites who were tested early in the course of HIV disease (early testers) were compared with persons who were tested late in the course of HIV diseas e (late testers).
Late testers were defined as persons who had their first positive HIV test [less than or equal to]1 year before the diagnosis of AIDS.
Among persons interviewed during May 2000--February 2003, characteristics of early and late testers were compared.