KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Panel Backs Routine HIV Screenings For Teens, Adults

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advises that nearly everyone ages 15 to 64 should be screened for the HIV virus, a recommendation which, if adopted, would require Medicare and most private health insurers to pay for the tests.

USA Today: Panel Recommends Routine HIV Tests For Teens, Adults
In a broad new expansion of HIV screening, an influential government panel now says everyone ages 15 to 65 should be tested for the virus that causes AIDS. The draft recommendation, issued Monday by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, is far broader than its last recommendation in 2005, which called for screening only those at high risk (Szabo, 11/19).

Los Angeles Times: U.S. Panel Advises HIV Tests For Everyone Ages 15 to 64
Nearly everyone ages 15 to 64 should be screened for HIV even if they're not at great risk for contracting the virus, according to new guidelines proposed by an influential panel of medical experts. If the panel ultimately adopts those recommendations, Medicare and most private health insurers will be required to pay for the tests (Mestel, 11/19).

The Wall Street Journal: Health Panel Backs Broad HIV Tests
[I]f finalized, private insurers would have to pay for the test. Past recommendations haven't always been embraced by doctors. But in this instance, the weight of medical evidence has already been trending in favor of screening and earlier treatment of people with HIV (Burton and McKay, 11/19).

The Associated Press: New Push For Most In US To Get At Least 1 HIV Test
And if finalized, the task force guidelines could extend the number of people eligible for an HIV screening without a copay in their doctor's office, as part of free preventive care under the Obama administration's health care law. Under the task force's previous guidelines, only people at increased risk for HIV—which includes gay and bisexual men and injecting drug users—were eligible for that no-copay screening (Neergaard, 11/20).

CNN: New Draft Recommendations Issued For HIV Testing
The USPSTF says screening after 64 is usually unnecessary unless there is a continuing risk of infection. The group says the new draft recommendations will allow for early detection and treatment. Early treatment with antiretroviral therapy reduces the risk of AIDS-related complications and the likelihood of transmission (Young, 11/19).

Bloomberg: HIV Screening Recommended For All Americans Older Than 15
Those with the highest risk, which includes gay men and those who use injection drugs, should be tested every year. The task force, based in Rockville, Maryland, is a panel of medical professionals, composed mostly of primary care providers. The draft guidelines on HIV have been posted for public comment on the group’s website. Comments may be submitted from Nov. 20 to Dec. 17 (Lopatto and Langreth, 11/20).

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