CDC Recommendations on HIV Testing Not Followed ‘Comprehensively,’ Too Few People Tested, HIV Specialist Says in Washington PostCDC guidelines that recommend HIV testing be a part of routine care for people ages 13 to 64 -- as well as annual testing for people at high risk of the virus, such as injection drug users or people with multiple sexual partners -- are not being "followed comprehensively," and "too few people are being screened," Manoj Jain, an infectious disease specialist and adjunct assistant professor at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, writes in the Washington Post.
According to Jain, in the past 15 years, HIV has become a "chronic disease instead of a death sentence" for people living in developed countries. However, early diagnosis and adherence to antiretroviral regimens are necessary for HIV-positive people to live "relatively long and productive" lives, Jain writes, adding that physicians need to "know who has the virus" to ensure people receive treatment.
He adds that the U.S. has "not yet made the most of [HIV] screening because we refuse to reshape our thinking" about HIV/AIDS. Many people in the U.S. are "caught up by the mistaken notion" that HIV/AIDS is a "terminal illness," Jain says, adding that many people also believe that the "stigma of being HIV-positive outweighs the benefits of early management, treatment and containment of the disease." Jain concludes that HIV is "not a lethal specter" in the lives of HIV-positive people, but just one detail that "need[s] to be managed" (Jain, Washington Post, 12/9). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.