contact us | site map | PHMC Home
Community Health Data Base
An Information Service of the Philadelphia Health Management Corporation

New Data on HIV Testing in Southeastern Pennsylvania Mirrors National Trends
Thursday. June 21, 2007

Axler, Francine
(215) 985-2521

Philadelphia -- New data released today by the Philadelphia Health Management Corporation (PHMC) reveal that HIV testing in Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA) mirrors national trends reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to new data from PHMC’s 2006 Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey, nearly half (43%) of SEPA adults report that they have been tested for HIV during their lifetime, including 17.5% who say they have been tested in the past year. About 6% of those tested report not knowing the results of their most recent HIV test.  


Nationally, the CDC estimates that approximately 38-44% of all adults in the U.S. has been tested at least once for HIV infection.  However, it also estimates that 180,000 to 280,000 people nationwide are HIV-positive but unaware of their HIV status. According to the CDC, approximately 40,000 people become infected with HIV annually.


PHMC’s data also show that certain populations in SEPA are more likely to have been tested for HIV than others. Specifically, PHMC found that in SEPA in 2006:


-        HIV testing declined as age increased: 30.5% (18-39 years), 16.7% (40-49 years), 10.3% (50-59 years), 5.8% (60-74 years), and 4.0% (75+).


-        One in four Philadelphia adults (26.1% or 500,000 adults) reported receiving an HIV test in the past year, compared to adults in Bucks, Chester, Montgomery and Delaware counties (10.7%, 11.0%, 11.5% and 14.7%, respectively).


-           Black and Latino adults (35.4% and 29.8%, respectively) were more likely to have received HIV testing in the previous year than white adults (10.6%). 


In addition to collecting data on HIV testing in the previous year, the survey also reports information on the proportion of SEPA adults who have never been tested for HIV. Data findings show that:


-        In 2006, about 57% of all adults 18 and older had never been tested for HIV – representing about 1.6 million adults in SEPA. 


-           Among insured adults (ages 18-64), approximately 52% have never been tested for HIV, while 43% of uninsured adults (18-64) have never been tested.


-           The proportion of adults who have never been tested for HIV increases with age: 37.2% of adults 18-39 have never been tested for HIV, while 91.4% of adults 75 years and older have never been tested for HIV.


For more information on HIV testing trends among adults in SEPA, contact Francine Axler, senior research associate, at 215-985-2521 or  Additional Survey findings are located online at


PHMC has several programs and initiatives that are fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic and providing education on HIV/AIDS prevention.  These programs include: the PALMS (Preventing AIDS Through Live Movement and Sound) Project for adolescents; the Black Men’s Health Survey, the first large-scale survey of African American men who have sex with men in Philadelphia; Get Real, an HIV prevention media campaign for African American and white young men who have sex with men; HIV Care Access Programs, which serve individuals living with HIV not currently participating in the HIV system of care; and the PHMC Care Clinic, which serves individuals with HIV/AIDS in North Central Philadelphia.  For more information on PHMC or its programs, visit  


# # #


PHMC is a non-profit, public health institute that builds healthier communities through partnerships with government, foundations, businesses and other community-based organizations. The Household Health Survey is conducted by PHMC’s Community Health Data Base Project, which is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, The William Penn Foundation, The United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, and a variety of participating agencies from the health, government, nonprofit, and academic sectors.