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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Routine HIV Test... For EVERYONE?

Posted by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Jes
  • 208 Replies
WASHINGTON (AP) — There's a new push to make testing for the AIDS virus as common as cholesterol checks.

Americans ages 15 to 64 should get an HIV test at least once — not just people considered at high risk for the virus, an independent panel that sets screening guidelines proposed Monday.

The draft guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force are the latest recommendations that aim to make HIV screening simply a routine part of a check-up, something a doctor can order with as little fuss as a cholesterol test or a mammogram. Since 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has pushed for widespread, routine HIV screening.

Yet not nearly enough people have heeded that call: Of the more than 1.1 million Americans living with HIV, nearly 1 in 5 — almost 240,000 people — don't know it. Not only is their own health at risk without treatment, they could unwittingly be spreading the virus to others.

The updated guidelines will bring this long-simmering issue before doctors and their patients again — emphasizing that public health experts agree on how important it is to test even people who don't think they're at risk, because they could be.

"It allows you to say, 'This is a recommended test that we believe everybody should have. We're not singling you out in any way,'" said task force member Dr. Douglas Owens, of Stanford University and the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System.

And if finalized, the task force guidelines could extend the number of people eligible for an HIV screening without a copay in their doctor's office, as part of free preventive care under the Obama administration's health care law. Under the task force's previous guidelines, only people at increased risk for HIV — which includes gay and bisexual men and injecting drug users — were eligible for that no-copay screening.

There are a number of ways to get tested. If you're having blood drawn for other exams, the doctor can merely add HIV to the list, no extra pokes or swabs needed. Today's rapid tests can cost less than $20 and require just rubbing a swab over the gums, with results ready in as little as 20 minutes. Last summer, the government approved a do-it-yourself at-home version that's selling for about $40.

Free testing is available through various community programs around the country, including a CDC pilot program in drugstores in 24 cities and rural sites.

Monday's proposal also recommends:
—Testing people older and younger than 15-64 if they are at increased risk of HIV infection,
—People at very high risk for HIV infection should be tested at least annually.
—It's not clear how often to retest people at somewhat increased risk, but perhaps every three to five years.
—Women should be tested during each pregnancy, something the task force has long recommended.
The draft guidelines are open for public comment through Dec. 17.
Most of the 50,000 new HIV infections in the U.S. every year are among gay and bisexual men, followed by heterosexual black women.

"We are not doing as well in America with HIV testing as we would like," Dr. Jonathan Mermin, CDC's HIV prevention chief, said Monday.
The CDC recommends at least one routine test for everyone ages 13 to 64, starting two years younger than the task force recommended. That small difference aside, CDC data suggests fewer than half of adults under 65 have been tested.
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by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 10:28 PM
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Replies (1-10):
rfurlongg
by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 10:31 PM
4 moms liked this
Sounds like someone will turn a big profit on this one, Lol!

Regardless, I do not see the harm in testing and if it yields a positive result in decreasing the spread of HIV I say go for it.
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lga1965
by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 10:41 PM
1 mom liked this

 Sounds like a good idea.

norahsmommy
by Bronze Member on Nov. 19, 2012 at 10:43 PM
3 moms liked this
Every time I've been pregnant they tested me. Our office does it routinely. I don't see why they shouldn't just check like the do your cholesterol.
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Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Nov. 19, 2012 at 10:46 PM
link:

http://www.wfaa.com/news/national/180070341.html
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Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Nov. 19, 2012 at 10:46 PM
2 moms liked this
Everytime I was pregnant it was an option. And I said no.

There's no chance I have HIV so there's no need to test me for it.


Quoting norahsmommy:

Every time I've been pregnant they tested me. Our office does it routinely. I don't see why they shouldn't just check like the do your cholesterol.
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OHgirlinCA
by Platinum Member on Nov. 19, 2012 at 10:48 PM
1 mom liked this
I was tested during each of my pregnancies and before I obtained life insurance.

I certainly don't see any wrong with a medical professional suggesting having a test to their patients, especially if they are potentially at risk.
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Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Nov. 19, 2012 at 10:53 PM
What if you don't want to get tested though... Should they be forced to?

Quoting lga1965:

 Sounds like a good idea.

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lga1965
by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 10:59 PM
5 moms liked this

 WHY would anyone not want to be tested? LOL. That's funny!

I have no idea if they will "force" anyone....but, good lord,what is the problem?

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

What if you don't want to get tested though... Should they be forced to?

Quoting lga1965:

 Sounds like a good idea.

 

SEEKEROFSHELLS
by Platinum Member on Nov. 19, 2012 at 11:00 PM
4 moms liked this

 I was surprised when I was tested for aids during a routine blood work back 23 years ago. Next visit I told the doctor" I am married and faithful why did you order that test? Are you all sitting at your computers or did you fall off the chair laughing? He explained he is at the end of the table at delivery and it is to protect him, He also said being married, in his profession, he has seen STD's with married people. Light bulb went off in my head. He was right! 

krysstizzle
by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 11:00 PM
1 mom liked this

I agree with a PP, someone will make some money off of this. 

Regardless, seems like a good idea. If an individual has had even one sexual partner, there's a chance of HIV. 

Should people be forced to take this test? I don't think so, but that might be more complicated when viewed in light of insurance issues. 

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