Free HIV Testing in Connecticut

Free and low-cost testing locations near you.

Connecticut is located in the southernmost region of the United States. In terms of area, Connecticut is the third smallest state and the 29th most populated state of the country. According to the United States Census data, 2021, the state has a total population of 3.6 million, making it the fourth-most densely population. The state has the highest per capita income and the second-highest level of human development in the country.

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Why Testing Matters?

According to the federal government data sources, approximately 1.2 million people are currently living with HIV in the United States. In 2019 alone, there was an estimated number of 34,800 HIV diagnoses. As per the records of the Centers for Diseases Control, CDC, one in every seven HIV positive individuals is unaware of their HIV status.

The HIV rate is not evenly distributed across the states and regions, but the highest new diagnosis rates continue to occur in the country's southern region. To date, HIV has claimed the lives of nearly 600,000 adults and adolescents across the country. HIV is a life-threatening disease, and if it remains undiagnosed, the patients' immune system is weakened to a level where an infection as common as flu and cough can result in deaths.

Certain populations and individuals belonging to specific ethnic backgrounds such as Black Americans, gay and bisexual men and transgender females are mostly affected by HIV. This makes it even more imperative to get tested for HIV since the state of Connecticut has been recording high STD and HIV rates for the past five years. Make testing for common, reportable STDs, including HIV an essential part of your health checkup.

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HIV in Connecticut

According to the State health profile formulated by the Centers for Diseases, CDC, the total number of newly diagnosed HIV cases in Connecticut in 2015 was 271. The state ranked 29th out of the 50 U.S states.

A report by AIDSVu indicated that in 2019 the total number of people living with HIV in Connecticut was 10,597 during the year 2019. In 2019 alone, the total number of newly diagnosed cases in the state were 213 people. The rate of people living with HIV in Connecticut per 100,000 population was estimated at 346.

In a Connecticut department of health data report published in 2020 it was noted that the total number of HIV related cases in the state was 220. Of the total diagnosed cases, 119 cases were reported from gay and bisexual men, 53 cases were diagnosed among heterosexual individuals, and 14 cases were due to the use of contaminated injection or drug use. According to the same report, the total number of reported cases from 1981 till 2020 in Connecticut was 22,019. In 2020 the total number of people living with HIV in the state was 10,705.

HIV Initiatives in Connecticut

Connecticut State Department of Public Health has specialized programs that support individuals living with HIV in the state by providing medical and non-medical support services. Referrals and case management programs are also a part of programs specialized for HIV.

Community Health Center Association of Connecticut receives funds from Ryan White Part B to provide support services to people living with HIV. Some of the services provided under this program include medical or non-medical case management, treatment adherence, and HIV counselling and testing services.

The New Haven/Fairfield Counties HIV Ryan White Planning Council works towards reducing the number of HIV cases and improving the living conditions of people living with the virus. The services provided under this program include medical case management, mental health services, outpatient and ambulatory services, housing services and early intervention services. Other services such as emergency financial assistance, access to health insurance, medical transportation and support with medications are also provided. Low-income families with less affordability are given access to financial assistance programs for their treatment.

Age, Race, Gender and Ethnic Disparities

According to the latest data published in a report by AIDSVu, the total number of people living with HIV in Connecticut was 10,597, and the rate of people living with HIV in the state in 2019 was 346. The same report revealed that 66.3% of the total people living with HIV in the state were males, while 33.7% of the people living with HIV were females.

Furthermore, AIDSVu identified that approximately 34.3% of the total people living with HIV in the state belonged to Hispanic backgrounds. 33.4% of HIV positive individuals were Black or African Americans, and 28.7% were white Americans from Connecticut. 26.8% of the total people living with HIV in the state were 45 to 54 years, 13.8% were aged between 35 to 44 years, 9.7% were aged between 25 to 34 years, and 1.9% belonged to the age group 13 to 24 years. Around 47.7% of the total people living with HIV in the state were 55 years or above.

Considering the newly diagnosed cases, the total numbers in 2019 were 213. The rate of new diagnosis per 100,000 population in the state was 7.76.5% of the individuals were males among the newly diagnosed cases while 23.5% were females. Of the number of newly diagnosed cases, 186 HIV positive individuals or 87.3% of the individuals were linked to HIV care. Of the total people living with HIV in the state, 8361 were receiving HIV related medical care.

It is worth noting that in 2019, the total number of HIV related mortalities was 202, and the rate of HIV related mortalities per 100,000 population in 2019 was 7. Of the total mortalities, 70.8% were male residents of Connecticut while, 29.2% were females. Most of the HIV related mortalities were recorded in black Americans.

The most commonly prevalent modes of transmission of HIV in male residents of Connecticut were male to male or gay sexual contact that accounted for 52.4% of the total people living with HIV. 14.8% of the cases were transmitted due to heterosexual contact while 26.3% of the transmission was because of contaminated syringes, primarily for drugs. In females, heterosexual contact was responsible for 64.5% of the transmission and 32.6% injection or syringe use.

Over the period of time, Hartford has surpassed New Haven in becoming one of the most populated cities in Connecticut. In 2019 alone, there were 3368 people living with HIV in Hartford alone. Out of the total numbers, 86 people were newly diagnosed with HIV in 2019 in Hartford, Connecticut.

References

  • AIDSVu, 2021. View local HIV data for the State of Connecticut . AIDSVu.org. Available at: https://aidsvu.org/local-data/united-states/northeast/connecticut/
  • Anon, 2021. HIV/AIDS. New Haven, CT - HIV/AIDS. Available at: https://www.newhavenct.gov/gov/depts/health_programs/hiv_prevention.htm
  • CDC, 2017. Connecticut - 2015 state health profile - . cdc.gov. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/stateprofiles/pdf/connecticut_profile.pdf
  • Community Health Center Association of Connecticut (CHCACT), 2021. HIV/AIDS & hepatitis C programs. .chcact.org. Available at: https://www.chcact.org/about/hiv-aids/
  • CT DOH, 2020. HIV microprofile 2019 - CT.GOV-Connecticut's official ... /portal.ct.gov. Available at: https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Departments-and-Agencies/DPH/AIDS--Chronic-Diseases/Surveillance/statewide/CT_HIV_factsheet.pdf
  • CT DOH20, 2021. Services and programs. CT.gov. Available at: https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Communications/Services--Programs/Services-and-Programs
  • U.S. Department of Health & Human Services , 2021. U.S. statistics. HIV.gov. Available at: https://www.hiv.gov/hiv-basics/overview/data-and-trends/statistics
  • US Census Bureau, 2021. U.S. Census Bureau quick facts: Connecticut. census.gov. Available at: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/CT
Reviewed by Debby R, MD. Last updated on Jan 12, 2022

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