OHESI releases new report on HIV testing trends in Ontario

Lori LyonsNews, Slider

Image from the HIV testing report over a photograph of a man being tested

OHESI is a group of  agencies that work together to provide timely, relevant, and comprehensive information about the epidemiology of HIV in Ontario. OHESI includes the OHTN, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, Public Health Ontario and the Public Health Agencies of Canada.

This month, OHESI has released a new report with details on HIV testing in Ontario from 2007 to 2016. The report allows the reader to see HIV testing rates by age, sex, test type (by name, using a code number or anonymous), exposure category and geography as well as the number of positive tests in each category. While 95% of HIV tests in Ontario are done using the person’s name, the report also includes information about anonymous testing and testing using coded identification.

HIV testing in Ontario has been relatively stable for the past decade, but the number of tests done increased by 19% between 2013-2016.
More women than men had HIV tests in the past decade, only in the last three years have more men than women been tested for HIV. This seems to be driven primarily by higher rates of testing among men who have sex with men.

As the volume of HIV tests done has increased, the percent of tests that are HIV-positive (test positivity rate) has decreased. The overall positivity rate decreased to 0.17% in 2016, meaning that for every 10,000 tests conducted, about 17 were HIV-positive.

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