Group recommends new HIV testing guidelines



LOS ANGELES – This week, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent group under the umbrella of the Department of Health and Human Services, recommended routine testing for HIV of all people ages 15-64.

An inmate gives blood while going through the intake process at the Cook County Jail in Chicago on Aug. 22. The jail is testing everyone who goes through the intake process for HIV, unless they refuse, hoping to put a dent in the number of people who have the virus but don’t know it. (TERRENCE ANTONIO JAMES/CHICAGO TRIBUNE/MCT)

The recommendation, recently posted online, comes six years after a panel at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued similar guidelines calling for such routine HIV testing (of individuals ages 13 to 64) in most medical settings such as health clinics, doctors’ offices and emergency units; however, the CDC’s guidelines have not been widely implemented due in part to questions as to who pays for such testing.

Now, the recommendation from U.S. Preventive Services Task Force for similar testing guidelines—if adopted (after a monthlong period of public comment)—paves the way for Medicare and other government and private insurance programs to pay for such routine testing.

Recommendation applauded
“Making HIV testing a routine part of health care really is the key to controlling and reducing the number of undiagnosed individuals and will ultimately help us break the chain of new infections,“ said Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

“We applauded the recommendation of the CDC back in September 2006 for similar testing guidelines—as well as the American Medical Association, which offered similar guidelines in November 2007. What’s key now is that these guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force can eliminate a huge obstacle to previous successful implementation of routine HIV testing in most health care settings: these guidelines, when adopted, will pave the way for both government and most private insurers to pay for the testing.”

Landmark revision
According to an article in the Nov. 20 Los Angeles Times, “The draft guidelines were written by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent group that operates under the auspices of the Department of Health and Human Services to advise the government and the nation’s physicians on the medical evidence for preventive health measures.”

The article also noted, “If the panel ultimately adopts those recommendations, Medicare and most private health insurers will be required to pay for the tests.”

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s move dovetails with a landmark revision in the CDC’s own HIV testing recommendations that were issued in September 2006. Through those recommendations, the CDC now encourages U.S. medical providers to make HIV testing a “routine part of care in health care settings for all patients ages 13 through 64,” and encourages linkages to care and treatment for those found to be HIV infected.

One-minute testing
The CDC also suggested that, “(HIV)… screening should be routine, regardless of whether the patient is known or suspected to have specific behavioral risks for HIV infection.”

“There are more than 1.1 million Americans currently living with HIV/AIDS. About half of that number do not consistently receive medical care, and more than one fifth of the total do not even know they are infected with HIV,” said Whitney Engeran-Cordova, Senior Director, Public Health Division, for AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

“We welcome these recommendations from the Task Force and believe its high time to implement the guidelines, a process which may also be made even easier now with the FDA’s recent approval of one-minute HIV testing—available for the first time in the U.S. this past September.”

This story is special to the NNPA from the Sacramento Observer.

One Response to Group recommends new HIV testing guidelines

  1. Raymond

    My name are Raymond Benjamin from England, Oxford,UK …HIV has been ongoing in my family for long..I lost both parents to HIV and it is so much pain have not been able to get over. As we all know medically,there is no solution or cure for HIV and the cost for Medication is very expensive..Someone introduced me to a man(Native Medical Practitioner)in oxford.. I showed the man all my Tests and Results and i told him have already diagnosed with HIV and have spent thousands of dollars on medication..I said i will like to try him cos someone introduced me to him..He asked me sorts of questions and i answered him correctly..To cut the story short,He gave me some medicinal soaps and some herbs(have forgot the name he called them) and he thought me how am gonna use them all..At first i was skeptical but i just gave it a try..I was on his Medication for 2 weeks and i used all the soaps and herbs according to his prescription.. that he will finish the rest himself..and i called him 3 days after, i arrived and i told him what is the next thing..he said,he has been expecting my call.. he told me to visit my doctor for another test..Honestly speaking,i never believe all he was saying until after the test when my doctor mention the statement that am, HIV negative and the doctor started asking me how do i do it….Am telling this story in case anyone may need this man his email is:
    Dr.William here is via email address: (
    Thanks Regard…….

    Good Luck..

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