NYC Should Implement More ‘Widespread’ HIV Testing To Help Prevent HIV Spread, Editorial Says
New York City needs to implement a "widespread" HIV testing program to "lead the way" in HIV/AIDS prevention, a New York Daily News editorial says. Some people go for more than 10 years without knowing their HIV status, meaning they "have carried the virus and been contagious for a decade," the editorial says. The city should follow draft recommendations released last week by the New York City Commission on HIV/AIDS and make HIV testing -- which is "much easier now than it used to be" -- a "voluntary component of standard medical care," according to the editorial. "[T]here is no surer way to give people early warning of their HIV status, help them prolong their lives and encourage them to change their behavior," the editorial says (New York Daily News, 5/31). The commission also endorsed new state rules on gathering HIV/AIDS data, including collecting detailed information about a patient's viral load and signs of drug resistance, practices that are scheduled to take effect this week on a temporary basis (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/25). Treatment -- including "tracking lab results and offering help to doctors if patients are not doing well" -- is "[a]nother sensible strategy" for fighting HIV/AIDS, the editorial says. Although "confidentiality concerns and the stigma of the disease get in the way," these factors "can be dealt with -- and should be -- while maintaining patients' privacy and dignity," the Daily News says (New York Daily News, 5/31).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.