Would you screen every patient on your panel for HIV? The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) is soliciting physician comments on a draft recommendation to do exactly that.
The draft recommendations appeared online and were published in the Nov. 20 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.
The Task Force is providing an opportunity for public comment on the draft recommendation until December 17. All public comments will be considered as the Task Force develops its final recommendation.
--The Task Force strongly recommends that clinicians screen all people aged 15 to 65 for HIV infection. Younger adolescents and older adults who are at an increased risk for HIV infection should also be screened.
--The Task Force also strongly recommends that clinicians screen all pregnant women for HIV, including women in labor whose HIV status is unknown.
"The draft recommendation reflects new evidence that demonstrates the benefits of both screening for and earlier treatment of HIV," said Task Force member Douglas K. Owens, MD, FACP. "Because HIV infection usually does not cause symptoms in the early stages, people need to be screened to learn if they are infected."
He continued, "People who are feeling well and learn they are infected with HIV can begin treatment earlier, reduce their chances of developing AIDS and live longer and healthier lives."