Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments

HIV Screening Should Be Offered As Part Of Routine Medical Care, Even For Teens

In 2006 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 1.1 million people were living with HIV, 4.4% of whom were 13 to 24 years old, and 48% of those youth are unaware they are infected. Using the Youth Risk Behavioral Survey (YRBS) data from 2007, the CDC estimated that about 12.9% of high school students had been tested for HIV.

The good news is that the highest risk teens were the ones getting tested more often, but only 22% of the highest risk teens had been tested.

To decrease the number of undiagnosed HIV infections among adolescents and promote HIV prevention, the CDC recommends that healthcare providers offer HIV screening as part of routine medical care for all people ages 13 to 64. People at high risk should be tested every year, including:

  • Injection drug users;
  • Anyone who exchanges sex for money or drugs;
  • Sex partners of people with HIV;
  • Men who have sex with men;
  • Heterosexual people who have more than one partner since their most recent HIV test; and
  • Anyone who gets a sexually transmitted disease.

High schools can support that effort by including information about HIV testing in the health curricula. People familiar with the benefits and process of the testing and counseling are more likely to be tested.

For teens, I usually suggest they go to anonymous testing sites in their community to be testing, so that the test is not including in their medical record. The anonymity also gives them a little extra courage. The trick is that they cannot lose their test number for the two weeks they wait for results.

This post, HIV Screening Should Be Offered As Part Of Routine Medical Care, Even For Teens, was originally published on Healthine.com by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..


You may also like these posts

Read comments »


Comments are closed.

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »