Policy & Politics
CDC to Recommend Routine HIV Testing for U.S. Residents
May 8, 2006
CDC plans to recommend that physicians offer voluntary HIV testing to all U.S. residents ages 13 to 64 as part of routine medical exams in private practices, clinics, hospitals and emergency departments, the Wall Street Journal reports. The agency also plans to recommend revising current guidelines that require patients to sign informed-consent forms before receiving an HIV test and removing or condensing the requirements for pretest counseling, the Journal reports. Under current testing regulations, many states require individuals to participate in a 20-minute counseling session before obtaining an HIV test. In addition, people in some states must sign a separate informed-consent form, which details the risks and benefits of the test. Under the revised recommended guidelines, a physician could perform the test after receiving a person's oral consent. Physicians would discuss the results of the test privately with patients who test positive and perform a second test to confirm the results, according to the Journal. CDC's recommended guidelines are expected to be released in June or July in the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. CDC estimates that about 25% of HIV-positive people in the U.S. do not know their status. Many physicians believe that routine testing could lead to an earlier diagnosis and earlier treatment. Furthermore, a person unaware of his or her status might have "unknowingly infected many other people" (Chase, Wall Street Journal, 5/8).
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2006 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.
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