HIV Screening as Standard Care

About 20% of Americans living with HIV are unaware they are infected. To address this fact, the CDC recommends routine voluntary HIV screening as a normal part of medical care, similar to screening for other treatable conditions. To reduces HIV transmission and improve medical outcomes the CDC recommends:

Currently 48 states have complied with CDC’s HIV screening recommendations.   New York State and North Dakota are the two states that remain non-compliant with CDC HIV testing recommendations. These two states have chosen an Opt-In testing model which requires specific consent before testing can occur. HIV Opt-In testing models impose a significant barrier to care that does not exist for other routine laboratory tests. For example, a separate consent is not required for every component of a routine Complete Blood Count (CBC) or Chemistry panel. Effective medical care and prevention of transmission cannot occur in an environment of intentional ignorance.

Another barrier to HIV screening has been the cost of testing. The Affordable Care Act has lowered the cost barrier for the majority of Americans. Many health insurance plans are now covering routine HIV testing. After April, 30 2014, all plans are required to cover routine HIV screening.

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