Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Including HIV Testing as Part of Routine Medical Exams Could Help Curb Spread of HIV, Editorial Says
CDC's expected recommendation to implement HIV testing as part of routine medical exams is "doable, cheap and could do more to stem new transmissions than almost any other available option," a Los Angeles Times editorial says. Although the recommendation would be voluntary, physicians "usually heed such federal health guidelines when suggesting preventive screenings for their patients, and insurance companies usually pay for the ensuing tests," according to the editorial. "One concern with broader testing is that it inevitably will lead to a higher rate of false positives," the editorial says, adding, "Though possible, it probably won't happen any more than it does with screening tests" for other diseases such as colon cancer and breast cancer tumors. Only 10% of U.S. residents are tested for HIV annually, and one-quarter of HIV-positive people in the country don't know they have the virus, the editorial says, concluding, "Hopefully, doctors will be able to persuade patients to look beyond their fear and get tested more regularly" (Los Angeles Times, 7/23).
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