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HIV Testing in Clinical Settings

  • photo of a doctor talking to a man
  • The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that clinicians screen adolescents and adults ages 15 to 65 years for HIV infection.
  • CDC recommends that individuals get tested at least once in their lifetimes and those with risk factors get tested more frequently. A general rule for those with risk factors is to get tested at least annually.
  • CDC has recently reported that sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from getting an HIV test more often, perhaps every 3-6 months.

When should clinicians start treatment for HIV?

  • New data from a National Institutes of Health sponsored trial indicates there is a clear personal advantage to achieving an HIV diagnosis and starting therapy in the early course of infection. This new information further highlights the importance of routine HIV testing and the potential impact on better health outcomes. See Starting Antiretroviral Treatment Early Improves Outcomes for HIV-Infected Individuals for more information.

Recommendations and Guidelines

HIV testing implementation in various settings

Hospitals and Emergency Departments

STD clinics

Primary Care

Family Planning clinics

Substance Abuse programs