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General Health : Government Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM


Most patients don't heed advice to get HIV tests
By Ben Wasserman
Nov 23, 2008 - 12:42:03 PM

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Sunday Nov 23, 2008 (foodconsumer.org) -- The CDC recommended in 2006 that patients in emergency rooms and doctor's offices should be routinely tested for HIV, but many doctors have not followed the recommendation because of a variety of reasons, according to a new report presented this week at a conference in Arlington.

 

The report reviewed a number of studies and found that merely 5 percent of patients with evidence of serious illness in hospital emergency rooms are being routinely tested for HIV that causes AIDS, Veronica Miller, director of the Forum for Collaborative HIV Research at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services was cited as saying.

 

In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that patients age 13 to 64 should be routinely tested, they can opt out if they want to. Below is cited from the CDC detailing the recommendations.


Many factors can lead to the reluctance for doctors to order a HIV testing for their patients.   The significant ones include the perception of clinicians that it takes too much time to finish the test and the difficulty getting some health insurance companies to pay for the tests.

 

The tests can cost patients anywhere from $80 to $120 per person if they have to pay anything.   HIV testing can be a saliva test and if necessary or a confirmatory blood test.

 

Kevin Fenton, director of HIV prevention at the CDC, the health agency that promotes disease control and prevention concurred and was quoted by Washington Post as saying that "Reimbursement is a major barrier to routine testing."

 

Studies presented at the two-day submit found that in urban ERs, infection rates could run from 0.5 to 1 percent of people tested.   For instance, according to Washingtonpost, the saliva test offered at the emergency department at George Washington University revealed an infection rate of 0.8 percent in those who accepted to be tested.

 





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