Home From the Wires Expert panel urges HIV screening for all 15 to 65

Expert panel urges HIV screening for all 15 to 65

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Los Angeles Times: A federal panel of medical experts has recommended testing everyone 15 to 65 years old for the virus that causes AIDS since early detection is considered key to effective treatment.

The recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force seeks to address one of the key challenges in the fight against HIV/AIDS: The window during which patients respond best to treatment is also the time when symptoms of the disease are least noticeable.

"HIV is a critical public health problem, and there are still 50,000 new infections per year," said Dr. Doug Owens, a task force member and professor of medicine at Stanford University. "There's very good evidence that treatment is effective when given earlier, at a time when people are often asymptomatic. So the only way they would know that they had HIV, or that they needed treatment, is to be screened."

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