In September 2006, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released “Revised Recommendations for HIV Testing of Adults, Adolescents, and Pregnant Women in Health Care Settings.” These revisions update previous CDC recommendations for HIV testing in health care settings. These guidelines call for routine HIV testing of every person between ages 13 and 64 who uses the health care system. The goals of the CDC recommendations are to increase routine HIV screening, foster earlier detection of HIV infection; identify and counsel person with unrecognized HIV infection and link them to care and prevention services.
The AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania (ALPP) fully supports the CDC recommendation for routine screening of HIV in the health care setting. We share the CDC’s hope that everyone who receives medical care will have the opportunity to be tested for HIV infection, resulting in early detection and treatment and reduce the likelihood of continued transmission.
However, our support of the CDC’s recommendations is tempered by our deep concerns about eliminating informed, written consent and pre-test counseling.