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Most States in Line with New HIV Recommendations

CDC's 2006 set-up calls for opt-out screening for patients across health care settings

TUESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Most states' statutory frameworks aren't in conflict with 2006 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations to improve HIV screening and diagnosis, according to research published in the Feb. 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Anish P. Mahajan, M.D., of the University of California Los Angeles, and colleagues categorized the statutory frameworks of all the states and Washington, D.C., as consistent, neutral or inconsistent with the recommendations, which call for opt-out screening for all patients and don't require separate written consent and prevention counseling.

Thirty-four states and Washington, D.C., met the criteria for being consistent with or neutral to the CDC recommendations, the report indicates. Since the release of the recommendations, 11 states have moved into the consistent category, and none has moved in the other direction, the authors note.

"With more than one-quarter million Americans unaware of their HIV-positive status and 56,000 new HIV infections occurring per year, it is incumbent on our health system to improve HIV screening rates. In addition to unknowingly transmitting the virus, persons unaware of their positive status often already meet the criteria for AIDS by the time they have a positive test result," Mahajan and colleagues write.

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