All teens and adults ages 15-65 should be screened for HIV

April 30, 2013 at 8:56 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 30 (UPI) -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said doctors should screen all adolescents and adults age 15-65 for HIV as well as all pregnant women.

An estimated 1.2 million persons in the United States are currently living with HIV infection, and the annual incidence of the disease is approximately 50,000 cases, but 20 percent to 25 percent of individuals living with HIV are unaware they are infected with the virus -- putting others at risk and delaying treatment for themselves.

Since the first cases of AIDS were reported in 1981, more than 1.1 million persons have been diagnosed and nearly 595,000 died from the condition.

The task force found convincing evidence conventional and rapid HIV antibody tests are highly accurate in diagnosing HIV infection.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said men who have sex with men account for about 60 percent of HIV-positive persons in the United States. Among men living with HIV infection who were diagnosed at age 13 or older, 68 percent of infections were attributed to male-to-male sexual contact, 8 percent attributed to male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use, and 11 percent attributed to heterosexual contact.

Among women living with HIV infection, 74 percent of infections were attributed to heterosexual contact and the remainder to injection drug use. Heterosexual contact accounted for an estimated 25 percent of new HIV infections in 2010.

The recommendations were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Topics: HIV
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