- Jimmy Carter: Don’t hurt Russian people with sanctions
- Oldest ex-MLB player dies in Cuba, 2 days shy of 103rd birthday
- ‘Top Gun’ for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy’s approval
- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
- L.A. sheriff admits to testing flyover spy program without notifying residents
- Foreign minister vows response if Russians are attacked in Ukraine
- Robert Griffin III to drive pace car before Richmond NASCAR race
New push for most in US to get at least 1 HIV test
WASHINGTON (AP) - There’s a new push to make testing for the AIDS virus as common as cholesterol checks.
Americans ages 15 to 64 should get an HIV test at least once _ not just people considered at high risk for the virus, an independent panel that sets screening guidelines proposed Monday.
The draft guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force are the latest recommendations that aim to make HIV screening simply a routine part of a check-up, something a doctor can order with as little fuss as a cholesterol test or a mammogram. Since 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has pushed for widespread, routine HIV screening.
Yet not nearly enough people have heeded that call: Of the more than 1.1 million Americans living with HIV, nearly 1 in 5 _ almost 240,000 people _ don’t know it. Not only is their own health at risk without treatment, they could unwittingly be spreading the virus to others.
The updated guidelines will bring this long-simmering issue before doctors and their patients again _ emphasizing that public health experts agree on how important it is to test even people who don’t think they’re at risk, because they could be.
“It allows you to say, `This is a recommended test that we believe everybody should have. We’re not singling you out in any way,’” said task force member Dr. Douglas Owens, of Stanford University and the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System.
And if finalized, the task force guidelines could extend the number of people eligible for an HIV screening without a copay in their doctor’s office, as part of free preventive care under the Obama administration’s health care law. Under the task force’s previous guidelines, only people at increased risk for HIV _ which includes gay and bisexual men and injecting drug users _ were eligible for that no-copay screening.
There are a number of ways to get tested. If you’re having blood drawn for other exams, the doctor can merely add HIV to the list, no extra pokes or swabs needed. Today’s rapid tests can cost less than $20 and require just rubbing a swab over the gums, with results ready in as little as 20 minutes. Last summer, the government approved a do-it-yourself at-home version that’s selling for about $40.
Free testing is available through various community programs around the country, including a CDC pilot program in drugstores in 24 cities and rural sites.
Monday’s proposal also recommends:
_Testing people older and younger than 15-64 if they are at increased risk of HIV infection,
_People at very high risk for HIV infection should be tested at least annually.
_It’s not clear how often to retest people at somewhat increased risk, but perhaps every three to five years.
_Women should be tested during each pregnancy, something the task force has long recommended.
The draft guidelines are open for public comment through Dec. 17.
TWT Video Picks
Feds who send arms against ranch families betray American values
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- Georgia governor signs bill expanding gun rights
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Harry Reid using tax dollars to fight Koch brothers, La. GOP chair charges
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Opposition rising to Colorado gun control laws
- Ukraine claims torture by pro-Russian forces on the heels of Biden's stern warning to Moscow
- Professor apologizes after blasting Republicans in class
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014