HIV Testing for Physicians
HIV testing is the gateway to HIV care - and early detection has never been more critical. The widespread use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has decreased mortality by 70 percent, and has improved the quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS.
Additionally, since the 1980s, the demographics of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States have changed; shifting into previously "low risk" populations. Therefore, so-called "risk-based" testing has become a less effective way of identifying HIV positive people.
New research also indicates that the stigma associated with testing that requires assessment of risk behaviors prevents individuals from seeking testing. More patients agree to HIV testing when it is recommended by their doctor, and offered without a risk assessment.
Therefore, in September 2006, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued revised recommendations for routine HIV screening in all healthcare settings in the United States.
These new CDC guidelines abandon the previous risk-based approach and reframe HIV testing as a broader public health issue. It is highly likely that New York State's HIV testing requirements will be amended to reflect the new CDC recommendations.
As experts in the field, we can help primary care and specialty practices understand how the recent CDC guidelines for universal HIV testing may affect their practices - and how routine HIV screening can benefit their patients. Please feel free to contact our Clinical Affairs Coordinator at 585-210-4123 for a consultation.
Internet Resources for HIV Testing
Centers for Disease Control
NYS Department of Health