AIDS Testing for All
The United States Government recommended near-universal testing for the AIDS virus on Thursday. Anthony Lago, tells how the government hopes to get Amerians tested more thoroughly and more often.
by Anthony Lago, Managing Editor
The United States government recommended a nearly universal testing system for the AIDS virus on Thursday. Government officials believe too many people are slipping through the cracks in the current system that focuses on only those who are "high risk."
Under the proposed system, everyone between 13 and 64 years old will be screened. Pregnant women will get extra screenings to ensure that they don't pass the virus on to their unborn baby.
More than one million people in the United States alone are infected with the AIDS virus, and the Center for Disease Conrol believes that number increases by 40,000 people per year. Many people who have the AIDS virus don't realize it, because the symptoms are so mild at first.
CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding told Reuters that people with HIV need to know so they can seek treatment and protect their partners. "We urgently need new approaches to reach the quarter-million Americans with HIV who do not realize they are infected," she added.
There is currently no cure for AIDS. Infected people run a high risk of passing the virus on to sex partners and in blood or shared needles. Once- and twice-a-day single pills can keep patients healthy.
Currently those people considered high risk such as gay men are encouraged to get tested regularly for the virus.