(HealthDay News) – The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening all 15–65 year olds, younger and older at-risk individuals, and all pregnant women for HIV, according to a Recommendation Statement published in the April 30 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Virginia A. Moyer, MD, MPH, and colleagues from the USPSTF conducted a systematic literature review to update the 2005 recommendation statement on screening for HIV. New evidence relating to the effectiveness of treatments in HIV-infected individuals with CD4 counts >0.200 × 109 cells/L; the impact of screening, counseling, and antiretroviral therapy (ART) use on risky behaviors and the risk of HIV transmission; and long-term cardiovascular risks of ART were considered.

Based on these findings, the Task Force recommends HIV screening for all 15–65 year olds, and for adolescents and older adults at increased risk for HIV infection (Grade A recommendation). In addition, clinicians should screen all pregnant women for HIV, including those who present in labor and have unknown HIV status.

“Nearly a quarter of people with HIV don’t know that they have it, and they’re missing out on a chance to take control of their disease,” Task Force member Douglas K. Owens, MD, said in a statement. “Universal screening will help identify more people with HIV, allowing them to start combined ART earlier and live healthier and longer lives.”

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