Percentage of sexually active young women and men aged 15-24 who received an HIV test in the last 12 months and who know their results [disaggregated by sex (female, male) and age (15-19, 20-24)]

Export Indicator

The percentage of sexually active young women and men aged 15-24 who had an HIV test in the last 12 months and know their results, disaggregated by sex (female, male) and age (15-19, 20-24)  
What it measures

This indicator measures progress in implementing HIV testing and counselling services among sexually active young people.

Rationale

In order to protect themselves against HIV and to avoid infecting others, sexually active young people should know their HIV status. This indicator provides a measure of the effectiveness of interventions that promote HIV counselling and testing among young people. This is important to know, because young people may feel that there are barriers to accessing services related to sensitive issues, such as sexual health.

Numerator

The number of respondents aged 15 - 24 who had an HIV test in the last 12 months and who know their results.
 

Denominator

The number of respondents aged 15 - 24 who have had sexual intercourse in the last 12 months.
 

Calculation

The number of respondents aged 15 - 24 who had an HIV test in the last 12 months
and who know their results
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- x 100
The number of respondents aged 15 - 24 who have had sexual intercourse in the last
12 months

Method of measurement

In a population-based survey, respondents are first asked if they have had sexual intercourse in the last 12 months. Those replying affirmatively are then asked whether they were tested in the last 12 months, and, if yes, whether they know the results of their HIV test. Those replying affirmatively to these three questions are counted in the numerator.
 
The validity of the data may be affected by reporting bias because some respondents may not want to admit to knowing their HIV status for fear of being pressed to disclose it. Conditions under which respondents are interviewed are likely to affect reporting bias. For example, respondents are more likely to be reticent if data are collected in the presence of other people than if they are collected in strict privacy.
 

Measurement frequency

Biennial

Disaggregation

Age group: 15 years - 19 years, 20 years - 24 years

Gender: Male, Female

Explanation of the numerator
Explanation of the denominator
Strengths and weaknesses

Factors that may influence whether or not a young person accesses HIV testing and counselling services include: the location of services; the availability and cost of transport to reach these services; perception of the confidentiality of the testing process and test results; and the perceived attitude of the staff towards young people. Changes in the indicator data over time could be associated with some or all of these factors. In itself, this indicator does not provide information to distinguish whether the number of people having an HIV test is limited by the availability of testing services or whether the testing services are underutilized and why. This is important information for programme design, and those making strategic programmatic decisions will need more data.
 
In areas where AIDS is highly stigmatized, respondents may be unwilling to admit to having taken an HIV test; this may be regarded as an admission that they themselves might have engaged in behaviours that could have placed them at risk of infection. On the other hand, in countries where getting tested for HIV has been heavily promoted as a responsible thing to do, some people may say they have been tested when in fact they have not. Despite these possible biases, this indicator gives an idea of the percentage of young people who are likely to know their HIV status.
In low-level and concentrated epidemics, this indicator may yield extremely low percentages if measured in the general population. In such settings, this indicator may be more helpful if applied to measure HIV testing and awareness of HIV status among specific sub-populations at higher risk of infection. Alternatively, the percentage of sexually active young people ever tested for HIV may be a more useful indicator.
The indicator is restricted to HIV tests performed in the last 12 months so that programme managers can assess changes over time.

Further information