Routine, rapid HIV testing.

Department of Psychiatry and School of Public Affairs, Center for HIV Identification, Prevention, and Treatment Services, University of California, Los Angeles, 90024, USA.
AIDS Education and Prevention (Impact Factor: 1.59). 07/2006; 18(3):273-80. DOI: 10.1521/aeap.2006.18.3.273
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT HIV testing identifies HIV-positive persons, allowing for reduced future HIV transmission while simultaneously providing policy makers with surveillance data to inform policy planning. If current costs of HIV testing were reduced, these funds could be redirected to increase testing rates or to expand treatment. The cost of testing is lowered and impact increased if noninvasive (oral and urine), rapid-testing modalities are utilized, pretest counseling uses cost-efficient counseling methods (e.g., video, pamphlets, small group discussions), and opt-out consent strategies are implemented while posttest counseling is more narrowly targeted to HIV-positive persons. Rather than relying on one international standard, customizing HIV testing procedures to local environments may be more efficient and effective. In the United States, laboratories with substantial HIV testing revenues are likely to be most resistant to altering current practices. However, AIDS researchers, policy makers, and advocates may dramatically influence the epidemic's course by encouraging flexibility and innovation in HIV-testing guidelines.

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