Washington, D.C. -- With the overhaul of the nation's health care system at center stage for the White House, the Congress and the country, the American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM), on National HIV Testing Day 2009, affirms its commitment to implementation of routine HIV testing in all health care settings for every American age 13-64, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in its Revised Recommendations for HIV Testing of Adults, Adolescents and Pregnant Women in Health-Care Settings.
Every major health care reform proposal includes a prevention and wellness component, and routine HIV testing can be pivotal in preventing HIV's spread, and in getting the newly-diagnosed into critical HIV care and treatment programs.
"With current estimates indicating that 25% of the 1.1 million HIV-infected Americans don't know their status, routine HIV testing in all health care settings is more important than ever," said Donna Sweet, MD, MACP, AAHIVS, chair of AAHIVM's board of directors. "Studies show that those who know their status take measures to keep others from becoming infected, and early diagnosis will always provide more opportunity for successful treatment outcomes."
AAHIVM, through a cooperative agreement with the CDC, is developing activities to train HIV and non-HIV-treating providers on how to implement routine HIV testing in all medical settings, and is working to identify and advocate for linkage-to-care opportunities for those newly-diagnosed with HIV.
"AAHIVM calls on medical providers in all health care settings to perform at least one HIV test on National HIV Testing Day," said Dr. Sweet, "and, as we do each year at this time, we urge all Americans to help save lives by knowing their HIV status and getting tested."
For more information about AAHIVM's work to implement and promote routine HIV testing in all health care settings, contact Bruce Packett, Deputy Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Holly Kilness, Assistant Director, Policy & Programs, at email@example.com.
For more information on HIV testing day, go to http://hivtest.org.