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Posts Tagged ‘HIV testing’

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October 7th, 2013

CD4 Cell Count at Presentation: A Figure with a Depressingly Small Upward Slope

You know how to make an ID/HIV specialist angry? Frustrated? Sigh loudly? Tell a clinical anecdote that involves “late” presentation of HIV diagnosis, in particular someone who has been seeking medical care for various ailments for months or even years without getting tested. You know — it goes something like this: “He was seen 3 [...]


June 20th, 2013

Let’s Move the HIV Testing Algorithm Into the 21st Century

As I’ve written before, the most widely used testing algorithm for HIV — enzyme immunoassay followed, if positive, by Western blot confirmation — is long overdue for an update. A brief review why this is the case, and also why sticking with it is so problematic: Immunoassays have become progressively more sensitive, especially when paired [...]


November 22nd, 2012

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommends HIV Screening — And Why is This News?

A flurry of coverage recently appeared about the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s recommendation for one-time HIV screening for all Americans, ages 15-64. Some might wonder why this is news — um, hasn’t this been recommended now for years? — and I think I’ve figured it out. Let me start by relaying that every ID/HIV specialists [...]


September 19th, 2012

It’s Time to Dump the HIV Western Blot

Hard to believe, but we have to get rid of the HIV Western blot — at least as our HIV confirmatory test. Here’s why (case adapted from several seen the past few years; I’m sure most of you have seen similar): 30-year-old man, high risk for HIV. He’s worried he might have become infected due [...]


July 26th, 2012

Pigs are Flying: Written Consent No Longer Needed for an HIV Test in Massachusetts

Let the record show that as of July 26, 2012, a person in Massachusetts can legally get an HIV test without signing a written consent. Hooray. There, that wasn’t so hard, was it?


July 5th, 2012

Home HIV Test Big News — But Why? And What Impact Will It Have?

The recent FDA approval of a home HIV antibody test (OraQuick In-Home HIV Test) was covered just about everywhere. It’s an oral swab test, takes 20-40 minutes, and will be available over-the-counter. How big a news story was it? Several hundred sources featured it on the day of the announcement, and the total count is now well over [...]


June 29th, 2012

HIV Testing Roundup, and a Brief Rant

I’ve written so many times about HIV testing that a complete list of the headlines fills two full web pages. But since the last entry on the topic was more than a month ago, one might think I’ve lost interest in the topic. Never! Three items on the HIV Testing radar, two national, one local. First, [...]


May 20th, 2012

News on HIV and HCV Testing, and in Praise of Accurate Screening Tests

Two recent news items reminded me how lucky we are to have some very accurate screening tests for certain infectious diseases. The news: An expert FDA panel backed approval of the first true home test for HIV, the OraQuick mouth swab test. Approval of OraQuick for home use may occur later this year. While home [...]


September 22nd, 2011

Common Sense on HIV Testing

There’s an editorial in today’s Boston Globe that concisely (188 words) describes the problems with both the current and proposed HIV testing laws in Massachusetts. I’ve not been shy about the fact that I agree with every word of this piece. And though I strongly recommend reading the whole editorial — it’s very well written — [...]


August 19th, 2011

A Reason To Continue Restrictive HIV Testing Laws? Not Really …

The pending HIV legislation is much on my mind these days, for reasons I outlined here. Bottom line is that I don’t think it’s good for patient care, and we’re missing a real opportunity to make things better here in the Bay State. But yesterday I heard a perspective on the bill I hadn’t considered, [...]


HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Editor-in-Chief

NEJM Journal Watch HIV/Aids Clinical Care

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