Doctor Says Healthcare Professionals Should Identify Undiagnosed HIV Patients

As many as 312,000 people in the United States are unaware that theyre infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Whats more, the continuing epidemic is largely fueled by these unknowing carriers of HIV, writes Judith Feinberg, MD, of the University of Cincinnati.

Feinbergs editorial supports the findings of BostonMedicalCenter regarding wider implementation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for identifying HIV-infected people in certain acute care settings. In 1993, the CDC recommended routinely offering HIV testing and counseling to inpatients in hospitals where the prevalence of HIV infection was 1 percent or more, even if they had been admitted for unrelated conditions.

Boston Medical Center found that without such routine testing, they would not have identified half of the individuals they diagnosed. Feinberg says the findings should spur physicians and other health care professionals to assume responsibility for identifying the individuals who are as yet undiagnosed, in keeping with revised recommendations that the CDC is about to issue.

Source: Mayo Clinic