The HIV Screening. Standard Care. program developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gives primary care providers new tools to help ensure all patients are tested for HIV at least once in their life. Of the more than 1.1 million people in the United States estimated to be living with HIV, approximately 20% are unaware of their HIV status.
Patients diagnosed through routine HIV screening are able to benefit from medical treatment, which has been proven to reduce morbidity and mortality, and to avoid unintentionally transmitting HIV to others. HIV Screening. Standard Care. offers a variety of resources for providers—as well as materials for their patients—to help encourage universal testing for HIV.
Click here to order a free program resource kit
For questions about the HIV Screening. Standard Care. program, e-mail screenforHIV@cdc.gov.
The HIV Screening. Standard Care. program is part of CDC's Act Against AIDS communication campaign designed to help reduce HIV incidence in the United States.
Of the more than 1.1 million people in the United States estimated to be living with HIV, approximately 20% are unaware of their HIV status. Patients diagnosed through routine HIV screening are able to:
- benefit from medical treatment, which has been proven to reduce morbidity and mortality, and
- avoid unintentionally transmitting HIV to others
Testing can reduce transmission
Many infected persons decrease behaviors that transmit infection to sex or needle-sharing partners once they are aware of their positive HIV status. HIV-infected persons who are unaware of their infection do not reduce risk behaviors.
Early diagnosis and treatment can improve medical outcomes
Because medical treatment that lowers HIV viral load might also reduce risk for transmission to others, early referral to medical care could prevent HIV transmission in communities while reducing a person's risk for HIV-related illness and death.
CDC recommends testing all patients ages 13-64
In September 2006, CDC released Revised Recommendations for HIV Testing of Adults, Adolescents, and Pregnant Women in Health Care Settings. These revised recommendations advise routine HIV screening of adults, adolescents, and pregnant women in health care settings in the United States.
To learn more about the recommendations behind routine HIV screening:
HIV Screening. Standard Care.
Because HIV crosses the boundaries of sexual orientation, gender, age, and ethnicity, risk-based testing fails to identify many people with HIV. Therefore, CDC recommends HIV screening for everyone in all health care settings. The HIV Screening. Standard Care. program, which is a part of CDC's Act Against AIDS communication campaign, provides tools and resources for incorporating HIV testing into primary care settings.
In CDC’s September 2006 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, CDC released Revised Recommendations for HIV Testing of Adults, Adolescents, and Pregnant Women in health care Settings. The revised recommendations are intended for all health care providers who practice in public or private practice where other diagnostic and screening tests are performed routinely.
Major revisions from previously published guidelines include:
- HIV screening is recommended for all patients ages 13-64 in all health care settings after the patient is notified that testing will be done unless the patient declines (opt-out screening).
- Persons at high-risk for HIV infection should be screened for HIV at least annually.
- Separate written consent for HIV testing is not recommended; general consent for medical care should be sufficient to encompass consent for HIV testing.
- Prevention counseling should not be required with HIV diagnostic testing or as part of routine HIV screening programs in health care settings.
- HIV screening should be included in the routine panel of prenatal screening tests for all pregnant women, and HIV screening is recommended after the patient is notified that testing will be done unless the patient declines (opt-out screening).
In January 2009, “Screening for HIV in health care settings: a guidance statement from the American College of Physicians and HIV Medicine Association” was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The published guidance statements align with CDC’s Revised Recommendations.
- Guidance Statement 1: ACP recommends that clinicians adopt routine screening for HIV and encourage patients to be tested.
- Guidance Statement 2: ACP recommends that clinicians determine the need for repeat screening on an individual basis.
The HIV Screening. Standard Care. resource kit provides tools for implementing HIV screening in your practice with 18-64 year olds. An estimated 1 in 5 people infected with HIV–more than 200,000 individuals –do not know they are infected with the virus. Studies have shown that learning one's HIV status results in substantial reductions in risk behavior. Testing is a critical component of prevention efforts because when people learn they are infected, they can take steps to protect their own health and prevent HIV transmission to others.
Download HSSC materials
Order Free HSSC materials
E-mail screenforHIV@cdc.gov to request a resource kit.
For materials on perinatal screening, visit CDC's One Test. Two Lives. page.
For materials to facilitate discussions about reducing risky transmission behaviors among your patients living with HIV, visit CDC's Prevention IS Care page.
Your patients may have questions about the HIV test or what will happen if they are diagnosed with HIV. The following resources can be used for your patients who are seeking more information.
HIV/AIDS General Information
Statistics on HIV/AIDS in America
- Visit the CDC's Act Against AIDS Web site to learn more about HIV/AIDS prevalence in the U.S.
Living with HIV/AIDS
- Learn more about what it means to be living with HIV
- Once you've diagnosed a patient with HIV, it's important to link him/her to care immediately. American Academy of HIV Medicine, HIV Medicine Association and HealthFinder.gov have resources to help you find physicians providing HIV care in your area. To locate a physician in your area that provides HIV care, visit:
- AAHIVM—Find a Provider
- HIVMA—HIV Provider Directory
- HealthFinder.gov—Finding a local health department can help your patients find healthcare providers in their area and learn more about notifying their partners about their HIV status and other related services.
- Many patients may not be able to afford their HIV care. In these situations, CDC recommends you visit the following sites to find local, free options for your patient:
- Learn how to prevent transmitting HIV to others
- Learn about sexually transmitted diseases
National HIV/AIDS Clinicians Consultation Center at the University of California, San Francisco
Warmline – National HIV Telephone Consultation Service
Offers health care providers HIV clinical information and case consultation: 1-800-933-3413
Compendium of State HIV Testing Laws
Routine HIV Screening materials
Available HIV tests
More resources on HIV screening
Additional HIV resources from CDC
- Act Against AIDS - a comprehensive communication campaign aimed at preventing HIV, especially in populations most affected by the epidemic.
- One Test. Two Lives. – a provider program focusing on ensuring all women are tested for HIV early in their pregnancy.
- Prevention IS Care – a provider program designed to help facilitate discussions about reducing risky transmission behaviors among your patients living with HIV
STD resources from CDC
- HIV testing is an essential component of preventive care for optimizing sexual health. Populations disproportionately affected by HIV are also disproportionately affected by infections with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and sexually transmitted diseases (STD). Other sexual health preventive care components include:
- annual Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC) testing of all sexually active females over age 25
- annual screening for syphilis, CT, and GC of sexually active MSM
- HPV vaccine routinely for all females 11-12 yrs old and catch-up vaccine for those 13-26
- HBV vaccine for adults seeking care for STD or those who inject drugs or have sex with MSM.
- Information, resources, and recommendations on sexually transmitted diseases
- Information on viral hepatitis