Panel: HIV Tests for Everyone
Experts want to make the test routine for those ages 15 to 64
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2012 6:59 AM CST
An HIV test kit on display during a San Antonio AIDS Foundation (SAAF) event to announce the first HIV testing van in the San Antonio Texas area, Monday, Sept. 24, 2012, at the SAAF in San Antonio.   (Darren Abate/AP Images for AIDS Healthcare Foundation)

(Newser) – A US panel of experts wants HIV tests to be a routine part of medical checkups for everyone aged 15 to 64, the Los Angeles Times reports. The US Preventive Services Task Force last came up with a set of guidelines in 2005, suggesting routine screening only for those at increased risk of contracting the virus, but studies since then have found that everyone is better off if near-universal testing is implemented. The panel thus proposed a new set of guidelines, which were posted online yesterday for four weeks of public comment.

If adopted, the recommendations will require Medicare and most private health insurers to pay for HIV screening. Testing would be optional, but would be the default unless a patient declines or is at extremely low risk. Such wide testing could help in a number of ways: Those who are treated for HIV earlier tend to fare better and transmit the virus much less often. Plus, if the test is routine the stigma associated with it will be removed, doctors hope. A CDC study last year found that 20% of those infected with HIV in the US aren't aware of it.

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Nov 23, 2012 7:55 PM CST
Use to be car Insurance was Optional, then health care was optional and now Its still optional togo to bed after 10 p.m. but maybe uncle sam will have his ass in that business too! The govt is about as intrusive as a rectal exam! The govt needs to take care of the job they were designerd to do..."Support and Defend" the Constitution of the U.S.A. NOW they just get in everyones business and destroy the Constitution!! make way fro the United Nations and the anti-christ!! coming soooooon to an earth like ours!!
Nov 21, 2012 8:46 PM CST
Maybe they need to raise that upper age limit a bit. I have heard that "The Villages" in Florida is practically an STD factory.
Nov 20, 2012 11:01 PM CST
O.K. But who decides who is "Low Risk"....Maybe the POPE, but not Jimmy Swaggart. Maybe Michelle Obama but not Petraeus . . .jez he could have been considered low risk 6 weeks ago, but WOW....who knew? That's the point about profiling people . . . .you don't know unless you check the stereotype box !