An ongoing dialogue on HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases,
December 4th, 2008
More Support for HIV Screening
On Monday December 1 — World AIDS Day, if you’re keeping track — the American College of Physicians released a position paper supporting routine HIV screening for adolescents and adults in the United States.
(If you don’t want to read the whole thing, we’ll have a perfectly-executed summary by the inimitable Abbie Zuger on our AIDS Clinical Care site any day now; it’s been written, but somehow getting material up there is harder than it is here. Go figure. UPDATE: Now you can read it here.)
In essence, these ACP Guidelines are highly concordant with those issued in 2006 by the CDC: One-time testing for adults in health-care settings. Frequency of repeat testing to be determined by risk assessment.
This leaves the US Preventive Services Task Force as a mild voice of dissension about the issue of HIV screening, as it neither endorses nor discourages routine screening. The USPSTF does recommend screening “at-risk” populations, a useful strategy but one that still leaves a substantial proportion of HIV diagnoses undetected.
Meanwhile, the number of states still requiring written informed consent for HIV testing continues to fall …