Rapid HIV testing urged in the US

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 04 April 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1037

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  1. Deborah Josefson
  1. San Francisco

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging doctors and hospitals in the United States to start screening patients with a rapid HIV test instead of the more time consuming assays now commonly used.

    The recommendation comes after the release of data showing that many people do not return for their results under the current system. About 2.5 million HIV tests are performed annually in publicly funded clinics in the United States. Many of these tests are done anonymously and rely on patients calling in for results. So it is impossible to notify those who test positive but do not return or call in for their results.

    The CDC estimates that 250000 people do not know that they are infected with HIV and that a rapid HIV test could remedy this and capture about 700000 newly infected people each year. The …

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