Routine screening for chronic human immunodeficiency virus infection: why don't the guidelines agree?
ABSTRACT Infection with human immunodeficiency virus remains a major public health problem in the United States. Prominent guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention differ in their recommendations on whether and how to screen adults and adolescents not known to be at higher risk. These discrepancies have led to controversy and debate as well as confusion among clinicians. This article reviews principles of screening, explains specific issues related to screening for human immunodeficiency virus, reviews the discrepancies between the US Preventive Services Task Force and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and the methods used in each guideline, and describes potential reasons for the discrepancies. The case of screening for human immunodeficiency virus illustrates how discrepancies between guidelines may be related to different guideline development methods as well as the different perspectives of the guideline development groups.
Article: Screening under scrutiny.American journal of epidemiology 06/2011; 174(2):127-8. DOI:10.1093/aje/kwr080 · 4.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This volume of Epidemiologic Reviews continues a discussion about screening within the evidence community that has been going on for many years. From various perspectives, the authors of these reviews consider the benefits and harms of screening for multiple conditions; the balance between benefits and harms (and costs) is often not clear. With few exceptions, the contribution of screening to improving the health of the public is small, yet it has become a popular and growing form of prevention. It may be that we are learning that the magnitude of benefit from screening is less than we hoped, and the harms may be greater than we thought. Perhaps we should not think of screening as our primary prevention strategy but rather use screening to make a real, but limited contribution to population health for a few conditions. We might target screening to smaller subpopulations with the highest potential benefit and the lowest potential harm. The payoff for population health could be greater if we shifted some resources we now devote to screening to developing, testing, and implementing alternative approaches to preventing the important threats to population health. There needs to be a wider discussion about these issues with the public.Epidemiologic Reviews 06/2011; 33(1):1-6. DOI:10.1093/epirev/mxr006 · 7.33 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: For more than four decades, starting in the late 1960s, a sometimes furious battle has raged among scientists over the extent to which elevated salt consumption has adverse implications for population health and contributes to deaths from stroke and cardiovascular disease. Various studies and trials have produced conflicting results. Despite this scientific controversy over the quality of the evidence implicating dietary salt in disease, public health leaders at local, national, and international levels have pressed the case for salt reduction at the population level. This article explores the development of this controversy. It concludes that the concealment of scientific uncertainty in this case has been a mistake that has served neither the ends of science nor good policy. The article poses questions that arise from this debate and frames the challenges of formulating evidence-based public health practice and policy, particularly when the evidence is contested.Health Affairs 12/2012; 31(12):2738-46. DOI:10.1377/hlthaff.2012.0554 · 4.64 Impact Factor