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Blood Test
Jan 27, 1997

Is there anything in a routine or non-routine blood test that would make a persons doctor suggest HIV testing

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question.

It is very difficult for me to answer this question, since I don't know what you specifically mean when you say, "routine or non-routine blood test". What I can say is that physicians will generally do HIV testing under the following circumstances:

The patient requests the test. The patient has been at previous risk (or continues to be at risk) for HIV. The patients sexual partner(s) have been diagnosed with HIV, or are at risk for HIV. The patient has been diagnosed with an opportunistic disease, or is suspected as having an opportunistic disease. The patient has been diagnosed with another Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD). If a person has been diagnosed with one STD, they may have been exposed to others as well.

The patient has been diagnosed with another bloodborne disease which is also transmitted through sharing needles, or rarely by a blood transfusion. Examples of this are Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C.

As you will note, a physician will usually consider testing for HIV, based on the patients risk history. They may also test for HIV if the patient is suspected as having an opportunistic disease, or if they have been diagnosed with an opportunistic disease. An opportunistic disease is a disease that only causes illness in a person who has a damaged or weakened immune system. A physician may also test for HIV and other diseases of the immune system, if a person has an illness that is much more severe that one would normally expect to find. So in summary, physicians generally consider testing for HIV, based on the patients risk history, or a suspicion or diagnosis of an AIDS related illness.



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