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AMA's New HIV Testing Guidelines Good for Public Health, Says AHF
Date:11/16/2007

Policy Calls for Wider Routine Testing, Improved Patient Privacy Protections

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today lauded the American Medical Association (AMA) for recently updating its HIV testing policy to include guidelines supporting wider routine testing and improved protection of patient privacy. According to a news item in the Kaiser Family Foundation's Daily HIV/AIDS Report, the AMA's new guidelines call for, "...physicians to routinely test consenting adult patients for HIV."

The AMA's move dovetails with a landmark revision in the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) own HIV testing recommendations that were issued in September 2006. The CDC now encourages U.S. medical providers to make HIV testing a "routine part of care in health care settings for all patients ages 13 through 64," and encourages linkages to care and treatment for those found to be HIV infected. The CDC also suggests that, "(HIV)... screening should be routine, regardless of whether the patient is known or suspected to have specific behavioral risks for HIV infection."

"Making HIV testing a routine part of health care is key to controlling and reducing the number of undiagnosed individuals and will ultimately help us break the chain of news infections, " said Homayoon Khanlou, Chief of Medicine, US, for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "These new AMA guidelines are a significant step toward a more prudent and practical public-health-minded approach to HIV testing, and I would strongly encourage medical providers everywhere to quickly adapt and implement these new guidelines into their own practices and delivery of medical care."

"More than one million people in the US are currently infected with HIV; about half do not consistently receive medical care, and one quarter of the total do not even know they are infected," said Whitney Engeran, III, Director, Public Health Division, for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "W
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SOURCE AIDS Healthcare Foundation
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