Commentary & Opinion
Routine Testing for HIV Makes "Good Sense" to Help Curb Epidemic, Editorial Says
May 15, 2006
CDC's proposed recommendation that physicians offer routine voluntary HIV testing to all U.S. residents ages 13 to 64 as part of medical exams is a "sea change in the testing regimen," a New York Times editorial says. Revised guidelines for HIV testing could mean that health care providers "shorten and simplify a counseling session" prior to testing, which is "another important step forward" in curbing the spread of the epidemic, the editorial adds. Patients also can give oral consent to testing under CDC's proposed guidelines -- "rather than being required to sign a separate permission form," which is "another important step forward" -- the editorial says. Although HIV/AIDS advocates have been concerned about the privacy rights of people who test positive for HIV, "[s]uch worries have proved unfounded," according to the editorial. "Health authorities have demonstrated that they can be trusted to keep the information confidential," the editorial adds, concluding that "it makes perfectly good sense to treat HIV/AIDS like any other" sexually transmitted infection, "especially given the wide availability of lifesaving treatment today" (New York Times, 5/15).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.