A panel of U.S. medical experts insisted April 30 that all Americans between the ages of 15 and 65 should be tested for HIV.
The U.S Preventive Services Task Force's new guidelines recommend that all doctors screen their patients between these ages, including pregnant women and those in labor. The panel also suggests children under 15 and adults over 65 be tested if they are considered high-risk.
"HIV is a critical public health problem and, despite recent medical advances, still a devastating diagnosis for the 50,000 people in the United States who contract HIV each year," said Task Force chair Virginia Moyer, a professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. "In order to help reduce the suffering of those with HIV and their loved ones, we must continue finding better ways to prevent and treat this disease."
The release of the new guidelines follow a number of well-publicized cases that showed early treatment with a combination of powerful antiretroviral drugs greatly improves patient survival rates. One of those cases was the Mississippi infant who was "functionally cured" of HIV immediately after birth in March.