The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are administered to people without current symptoms, but who may be at high risk for certain diseases or conditions.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people who are being evaluated or treated for a sexually transmitted disease (STD) get screened for HIV, even if they do not have other risk factors for the virus.
All pregnant women, and people who work in healthcare settings and correctional facilities should be screened for the virus.
Men who have sex with other men should also be tested annually for HIV and other STDs.
If you have risk factors for contracting HIV, such as using IV drugs or having multiple sex partners, talk to your doctor about screening.
The CDC also recommends that HIV screening should be offered to all patients.
A guide to primary care of people with HIV/AIDS. National Institute of Health and Human Services website. Available at: http://hab.hrsa.gov/deliverhivaidscare/files/primary2004ed.pdf. Accessed May 15, 2013.
HIV/AIDS. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease website. Available at: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/HIVAIDS/Understanding/Pages/whatAreHIVAIDS.aspx. Accessed May 15, 2013.
HIV/AIDS. Center for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/index.html. Accessed May 15, 2013.
HIV and AIDS. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/hiv-and-aids.html. Updated December 2010. Accessed May 15, 2013.
Last reviewed September 2014 by David L. Horn, MD, FACP
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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