Washington, Dec 1 : Experts suggest that routine HIV screening of people older than 13 years can help reduce transmission risk and save numerous lives.
The American College of Physicians (ACP) urged that timely identification of undiagnosed cases of HIV can help prevent further transmission.
"The purpose of the guideline is to present the available evidence to physicians as a way to help guide their decisions around screening for HIV in their practice," said Amir Qaseem, MD, PhD, MHA, senior medical associate in ACP's Clinical Programs and Quality of Care Department and the lead author of the guideline.
"ACP recommends that physicians adopt a routine screening policy for HIV and encourage their patients to get tested, regardless of their risk factors," he added.
According to the guideline, physicians should offer screening to all patients, and should determine the need for repeat screening intervals on a case-by-case basis.
Higher risk patients should be retested more frequently than patients who are at average risk.
"The intent of this guideline is to help prevent the unwitting spread of HIV infection," said Vincenza Snow, MD, FACP, is the director of clinical programs and quality of care at ACP.
"I would tell my patients that it's important to know your HIV status so that you do not risk infecting anyone else.
"Besides, an AIDS test is very simple and quick, and can be performed during a routine exam," he added.