Connecticut: Hospitals Picked to Offer Patients Free HIV Tests
January 6, 2009
Emergency rooms at three Connecticut hospitals have begun routinely offering free HIV screening to patients under a two-year CDC-funded pilot project. While ERs traditionally have not been used as testing sites for STDs, physicians say this is changing as emergency admissions become the only time many who are uninsured and poor have contact with doctors.
Yale-New Haven's ER program has already diagnosed one patient who did not realize she had HIV, said Becker. "The early intervention is key," Andresen said. "If they find out early, they can stay healthier longer and not transmit it to others."
Connecticut, a small state, ranks fifth in the nation in AIDS cases per capita, said Dr. Steven I. Aronin, medical director of Waterbury Hospital's Infectious Diseases Clinic. In Waterbury, an estimated 300 people have HIV and do not know it, he said. "It's a scary number for lots of reasons. For individuals who have it and don't know it, their immune systems are being depleted as we speak. And they could be passing it on to others."
New York Times
01.04.09; Tracy Gordon Fox
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.