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U.S. News

JAMA Perspective Piece Examines Routine HIV Screening

January 29, 2009

"Clinicians Advised To Step Up HIV Tests," Journal of the American Medical Association: The article examines recommendations from HIV/AIDS experts regarding routine HIV testing and suggests that many medical service providers miss opportunities to conduct HIV tests. According to the article, HIV/AIDS experts endorse CDC's 2006 recommendations that medical workers offer routine HIV screening to all patients between ages 13 and 64; however, routine HIV tests have not been implemented widely. The article continues that rapid screening using a saliva test can provide an easy, accurate HIV diagnosis in a short amount of time. In addition, routine testing could increase HIV/AIDS awareness and help several thousand people access antiretroviral treatment while preventing new HIV cases. However, a lack of sufficient reimbursement from insurance companies, as well as Medicare and Medicaid, poses obstacles to increasing HIV testing, some experts say. In addition, recent studies indicate that hospital emergency departments often miss opportunities to provide HIV tests to patients who are uninsured and might have no other source of regular health care, according to the article (Voelker,

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Reader Comments:

Comment by: saddened femail (WI) Mon., Feb. 9, 2009 at 8:59 pm EST
I agree, testing needs to become something that is done for EVERYONE!

I just tested positive in January -- two years ago I was negative. I know the people I have been intimate with in the past two years and NEVER would have thought one of them was positive.

If testing was required and routine, I may be HIV negative today. I am a middle class white female involved with black males. In my city, this disease could be so depreciating many of us as it is a smaller community -- but the men tend to not get tested. The 4 men I have been with in the past 2 years ALL have decided not to get tested. I got the disease from one of them and possibly spread the disease to one or more of them. They are not getting tested and are sleeping with other women; knowing they may be infected. This is wrong -- this disease could be stopped or hopefully more controlled if there was MANDATORY testing!
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