Doctors: Test All Patients Over 13 for HIV
Routine HIV Testing Urged for All Patients Aged 13 to 64, Regardless of Risk Factors
In 2005, the latest year for which statistics are available, at least 17,011
Americans with AIDS died, raising the total number of deaths from the virus to
550,394, the ACP says, quoting statistics from the CDC.
The ACP indicates it didn't decide to issue the new guideline lightly, but
only after study of other guidance statements from the CDC and the U.S.
Preventive Services Task Force. Its new guideline also has been endorsed by HIV
Early detection of the virus is critical so that patients can get the
maximum benefits from existing therapies, the ACP says.
"The evidence also showed that most adults discuss and disclose
high-risk behaviors when the issue is brought up by their physician," the
ACP says. But 10% to 25% of people who test positive for HIV report no risky
The ACP's guideline notes that the CDC in 2006 said screening for HIV should
be performed routinely for all patients 13 to 64. It also says all pregnant women in the U.S. should be tested for HIV
Early detection is important, the ACP says, because it can increase life
span. Also, there's evidence that people with HIV likely change risky behaviors
that could spread the virus. It says doctors should talk to patients to get
them to reduce risky behaviors.
The guideline notes that according to the CDC, 20% of people with HIV are
older than 50.