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National HIV Testing Day — June 27, 2012

June 27 is National HIV Testing Day, which promotes testing as an important strategy to detect, treat, and prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. HIV testing is the essential entry point to health care and social services that improve the quality of life and survival for persons who learn that they have HIV (1). Persons who receive appropriate treatment, monitoring, and health care also reduce their chances of transmitting the virus to others. In 2006, CDC recommended that all persons aged 13–64 years be screened for HIV in health-care settings in which the prevalence of undiagnosed HIV infection is >0.1%, and that persons with increased risk for HIV be retested at least annually (2).

In March 2012, the Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents updated its guidelines on the initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for persons with HIV and no history of HIV treatment (3). ART is now recommended for all persons with HIV; the strength of this recommendation varies according to a person's pretreatment CD4 cell count. These updated recommendations are based on the increasing evidence of the harmful effects of unsuppressed HIV replication and the emerging evidence of the effectiveness of ART in preventing HIV transmission. The recommendations emphasize the importance of learning one's HIV status by getting tested, and for persons at increased risk for HIV, getting retested at least annually (1). HIV testing information is available at http://www.cdc.gov/features/hivtesting and at http://www.hivtest.org.

References

  1. CDC. Vital signs: HIV prevention through care and treatment—United States. MMWR 2011;60:1618–23.
  2. CDC. Revised recommendations for HIV testing of adults, adolescents, and pregnant women in health-care settings. MMWR 2006;55(No. RR-14).
  3. Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents. Guidelines for the use of antiretroviral agents in HIV-1-infected adults and adolescents. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services; 2012. Available at http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/guidelines/html/1/adult-and-adolescent-treatment-guidelines. Accessed June 12, 2012.

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