ACOG Urges Routine HIV Testing for Women

ACOG Issues Guidelines for Routine HIV Testing for Women
ACOG Issues Guidelines for Routine HIV Testing for Women

(HealthDay News) — Females aged 13–64 years of age should undergo HIV testing at least once in their lifetime, with annual testing thereafter recommended based on risk factors, according to a Committee Opinion published in the May issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Noting that early HIV diagnosis and treatment can improve survival and reduce morbidity, researchers from the Committee on Gynecologic Practice of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) discuss routine HIV screening and care for women infected with HIV.

The researchers note that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and ACOG recommend HIV testing for females aged 13–64 years at least once in their lifetime, and annual testing thereafter based on risk factors. Obstetrician-gynecologists should review risk factors annually and examine the need for retesting. Even in the absence of risk factors, women should have the opportunity for repeat testing. HIV infected women should receive or be referred for suitable clinical and supportive care. Obstetrician-gynecologists who use rapid tests that provide same day results should be prepared to provide counseling for women who receive positive test results. Awareness of and compliance with legal requirements relating to HIV testing are important for obstetrician-gynecologists.

"As physicians, our role does not end with HIV testing," Ruth Morgan Farrell, MD, from the Committee on Gynecologic Practice, said in a statement. "If a patient has a positive HIV test, the Ob-Gyn should continue counseling the patient, referring her for appropriate clinical and supportive care."

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