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National HIV Testing Day -- Take the Test, Take Control

Today, June 27, is National HIV Testing Day (NHTD), initiated 19 years ago by the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to raise awareness about HIV and encourage people to learn their status.alt

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FDA Committee Recommends Approval of First Home HIV Test

A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee this week unanimously recommended approval of the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test. While the test can sometimes give false-negative or false-positive results, the committee decided the benefits of more people learning their HIV status outweigh the potential risks.alt

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CDC Testing Push Increased HIV Diagnosis

A CDC effort to promote HIV testing begun in 2007 led to nearly 2.8 million tests and more than 18,000 new diagnoses, according to MMWR.

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Oral HIV Tests May Be Less Accurate than Blood Tests

Oral HIV antibody testing is quick and convenient, but this method is not quite as accurate as blood testing in low-prevalence settings, being more likely to produce false-positive results, according to a study review and meta-analysis described in the January 24, 2012, online edition of The Lancet Infectious Diseases.alt

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Expanded HIV Screening and Treatment Could Prevent More than 200,000 New Infections

One-time HIV screening of the entire adult population plus annual screening of people at higher risk could prevent nearly 7% of projected new infections, while treating more eligible people with antiretroviral therapy (ART) could raise the proportion of averted infections to about 17%, according to research described in the December 21, 2010, Annals of Internal Medicine. Investigators estimated that the cost of the combined strategy would be about $21,500 per year of life saved.

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Prompt Effective Treatment Maximizes Life Expectancy for People with HIV

HIV positive people who receive a timely diagnosis and start treatment with suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART) are likely to lose less than a decade of life expectancy -- comparable to the effect of cigarette smoking -- according to a mathematical model described in the November 14, 2011, advance online edition of AIDS.alt

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FDA Approves New 60 Second HIV Antibody Test

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week approved a new instant HIV antibody test that produces results in just 1 minute, compared to 10 to 20 minutes using previous rapid antibody assays. Shortening the wait for results could be particularly useful for tests done outside medical facilities, for example by outreach workers. The new test requires a blood draw or finger-stick, however, unlike some of the slower tests that use oral fluid. As with previous antibody assays, a positive result on the new INSTI test must be confirmed by a second, different test. 

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Teens Should Receive Routine HIV Testing, Says American Academy of Pediatrics

Adolescents and young adults should be offered risk reduction counseling and routine testing in an effort to prevent HIV transmission and to initiate treatment in a timely manner, according to a recent policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).alt

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Annual HIV Testing Will Now Be Covered Under Medicare

Medicare beneficiaries are now eligible for HIV testing thanks to a recent policy change announced last week. Previously the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) did not cover routine screenings under Medicare. The new policy includes coverage for an annual test for those who fall into various high-risk groups and pregnant women, as well as those who request testing identified risk factors.

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