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HIV Testing & Diagnosis

June 27 Is National HIV Testing Day

June 27 is National HIV Testing Day (NHTD), an annual opportunity to promote HIV screening and awareness. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 6 people with HIV do not know they are infected, and therefore are not receiving the care and treatment that could improve their own health and prevent transmission. The CDC this week issued new recommendations using modern technology to facilitate earlier diagnosis.

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Nearly 25% of HIV Diagnosed in Emergency Rooms Is Acute Infection

Only a small percentage of the more than 22,000 people tested for HIV at an emergency department in Phoenix were found to be infected, but of these nearly one-quarter had acute or recent infection, during which viral load is high and onward transmission is more likely, according to a study published in the June 22 advance edition of Annals of Emergency Medicine.

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FDA Committee Recommends Approval of First Home HIV Test

A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee this week unanimously recommended approval of the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test. While the test can sometimes give false-negative or false-positive results, the committee decided the benefits of more people learning their HIV status outweigh the potential risks.alt

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New Recommendations for Earlier HIV Screening and PrEP for Women

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists last week issued 2 new recommendations on screening and prevention of HIV in women. The first matches the CDC's recommendation that HIV screening should start at age 13 and should be offered at least annually to at-risk women. The second advises that pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) -- using antiretroviral medications such as Truvada to prevent HIV infection -- may be a useful tool for women at highest risk, including those with HIV positive male partners.

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Oral HIV Tests May Be Less Accurate than Blood Tests

Oral HIV antibody testing is quick and convenient, but this method is not quite as accurate as blood testing in low-prevalence settings, being more likely to produce false-positive results, according to a study review and meta-analysis described in the January 24, 2012, online edition of The Lancet Infectious Diseases.alt

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FDA Approves First Rapid HIV Test That Can Detect Acute Infection

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this month approved a new rapid diagnostic test that detects antibodies against both HIV-1 and HIV-2, as well as the HIV-1 p24 antigen. Detection of the antigen but not antibodies indicates acute infection, allowing for the possibility of improved prevention and earlier treatment.

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Prompt Effective Treatment Maximizes Life Expectancy for People with HIV

HIV positive people who receive a timely diagnosis and start treatment with suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART) are likely to lose less than a decade of life expectancy -- comparable to the effect of cigarette smoking -- according to a mathematical model described in the November 14, 2011, advance online edition of AIDS.alt

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June 27 Is National HIV Testing Day

Today (June 27) is National HIV Testing Day, started by the National Association of People with AIDS and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2 decades ago to raise awareness about HIV and encourage people to learn their status.alt

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Teens Should Receive Routine HIV Testing, Says American Academy of Pediatrics

Adolescents and young adults should be offered risk reduction counseling and routine testing in an effort to prevent HIV transmission and to initiate treatment in a timely manner, according to a recent policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).alt

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U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommends Routine HIV Screening for Adolescents and Adults

On April 30 the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued a "Grade A," or highest-level, recommendation that all adolescents and adults ages 15 through 65 years should receive routine HIV screening. "These recommendations...reinforce the importance of people everywhere knowing their HIV status and, if positive, accessing care, receiving treatment and other prevention services," said CDC's Jonathan Mermin.

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CDC Testing Push Increased HIV Diagnosis

A CDC effort to promote HIV testing begun in 2007 led to nearly 2.8 million tests and more than 18,000 new diagnoses, according to MMWR.

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Only 1 in 5 Medicaid Users Linked to Care Within a Year After HIV Diagnosis

Only about 20% of adult Medicaid recipients who tested positive for HIV during the past decade began receiving appropriate care -- including CDC T-cell count and viral load monitoring -- within a year of diagnosis, and the rate did not improve much within 5 years, according to an analysis described in the January 2013 issue of Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

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Expanded HIV Screening and Treatment Could Prevent More than 200,000 New Infections

One-time HIV screening of the entire adult population plus annual screening of people at higher risk could prevent nearly 7% of projected new infections, while treating more eligible people with antiretroviral therapy (ART) could raise the proportion of averted infections to about 17%, according to research described in the December 21, 2010, Annals of Internal Medicine. Investigators estimated that the cost of the combined strategy would be about $21,500 per year of life saved.

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U.S. Task Force Recommends HIV Screening for Teens, Adults, Pregnant Women

Adolescents and adults between the ages of 15 and 65 years should be routinely screened for HIV, and people outside this age range should also be tested if they are at risk of infection, according to draft recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued this week. The Task Force also advised that all pregnant women should be screened for the virus. alt

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FDA Approves New 60 Second HIV Antibody Test

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week approved a new instant HIV antibody test that produces results in just 1 minute, compared to 10 to 20 minutes using previous rapid antibody assays. Shortening the wait for results could be particularly useful for tests done outside medical facilities, for example by outreach workers. The new test requires a blood draw or finger-stick, however, unlike some of the slower tests that use oral fluid. As with previous antibody assays, a positive result on the new INSTI test must be confirmed by a second, different test. 

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FDA Approves OraQuick Home HIV Antibody Test

On July 3, 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test, the first over-the-counter self-administered HIV antibody test that can be performed entirely outside a medical setting.

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Annual HIV Testing Will Now Be Covered Under Medicare

Medicare beneficiaries are now eligible for HIV testing thanks to a recent policy change announced last week. Previously the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) did not cover routine screenings under Medicare. The new policy includes coverage for an annual test for those who fall into various high-risk groups and pregnant women, as well as those who request testing identified risk factors.

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Bathhouses Can Be Good Venues for HIV Testing and Linkage to Care

Bathhouses frequented by gay and bisexual men may be good places to find people with undiagnosed HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases and encourage them to enter ongoing care, researchers reported in the February 1, 2012, Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. alt

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ICAAC 2009: People Who Decline Routine HIV Testing Are More Likely to Be Positive, Written Consent Requirement May Discourage Testing

People who "opted out" of routine HIV testing in a Washington, DC, emergency department were almost 3 times more likely to be infected than those who accepted voluntary testing, according to a poster presented at the 49th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC 2009) last month in San Francisco. Another study suggested that requiring written informed consent may cause more people to decline testing.

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National HIV Testing Day -- Take the Test, Take Control

Today, June 27, is National HIV Testing Day (NHTD), initiated 19 years ago by the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to raise awareness about HIV and encourage people to learn their status.alt

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Routine Opt-out Screening in Emergency Rooms Identifies Few Additional People with HIV

Routine opt-out HIV screening in an urban emergency department -- testing not targeted specifically to people thought to be at risk -- identified only a "modest" number of additional cases compared with standard diagnostic testing, according to a U.S. study reported in the July 21, 2010 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) HIV/AIDS theme issue, released to coincide with the XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010) last month in Vienna. Most of the additional people found to be infected had late-stage disease, suggesting that a better method is needed to identify HIV positive individuals sooner so they can benefit from timely care.