New HIV Screening Recommendations

November 20, 2012

An independent panel for the US Preventive Service Task Force has said the benefit outweighs the cost: everyone should get screened for HIV at least once, more times if they live in a high risk group (multiple partners, an experience outside a monogamous relationship without contraception, intravenous drug users, etc.).

If the recommendation is finalized (it’s still open to comments from the public) it will be have to be covered 100% by insurance companies, meaning there will be no reason not to get tested.

1 in 4 people who are infected with HIV don’t know it. Women tend to become infected by men, even when in what they think is a monogamous relationship, and for this reason already receive more screening opportunities. Identifying the 1 in 4 who are unaware they’re infected would reduce overall transmission rates as well as get them life-saving help.

Although we’ve done a lot to reduce HIV transmission in the last decade (and we still are—Canadians have developed nano silver condoms to help kill the virus and reduce transmission from intercourse), 50,000 people are still diagnosed with HIV yearly.

If you’re sexually active, regardless of relationship status, expect to have a doctor recommend an HIV screening to you next year at your check-up.

Do you think the new recommendation is good, or excessive? Do you think insurance should be paying for it?

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