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Making HIV Tests Routine

OPB | Nov. 26, 2012 12:40 p.m. | Updated: Sept. 11, 2013 12:17 a.m.

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force has come up with new recommendations for HIV screening which say everyone between the ages of 15 and 65 should be tested. They’re basing this recommendation on a scientific study authored by a team led Roger Chou, a professor of medicine right here at OHSU.

Chou led a similar study back in 2005 in which they did not recommend wide-spread testing. He told OPB a few things have changed since then to alter their scientific perspective.

First, the evidence now shows that treatment is much more effective than they understood back then. Also, he says the fastest growing incidents of HIV are among heterosexuals and adolescents — different from a few years ago when it was understood to be primarily gay men and IV drug users.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made a similar recommendation a few years ago based on the understanding that a fifth of people who have HIV don’t know it.

The Task Force emphasizes that it is not saying testing should be mandatory — simply that it should be recommended.

What do you think of the idea of recommended HIV testing for all? Would you be tested? Why, or why not?

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