Rationale

In accordance with the CDC recommendations, we encourage all clinical and non-clinical sites across the State of Pennsylvania to routinely offer HIV tests to all patients aged 13-64 because:

• Every 9.5 minutes, someone in the U.S. is newly infected with HIV.  Approximately 56,300 new cases occur annually

• >1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV. Of those, an estimated 20% are unaware of being infected

• People who are unaware of their status are more likely to transmit HIV to others

• “Predicting” who needs to be tested is very subjective

• Expanded testing will decrease the stigma associated with HIV testing

• It is cost effective to screen for HIV

According to the most recent data collected by the CDC from 34 states, 38% of those diagnosed with HIV received an AIDS diagnosis within a year of their HIV diagnoses, and 45% had an AIDS diagnosis within 3 years of their HIV diagnoses. (MMWR, June 26, 2009 / 58(24);661-665).  

As progression to AIDS usually takes an average of ten years, early testing for HIV can potentially reduce morbidity and mortality, while lowering long-term health care costs.