New Recommendation Suggests HIV Screening of Teens Who Are Sexually Active

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HIV/AIDS is already considered a global health problem which affects every nation, every race, every culture, and every age. Every individual are at risk of having the disease most especially those individuals who are sexually active, those who are sharing same needles, and those who are in the medical field where the risk of needle prick injury is expected. In fact the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that HIV/AIDS have reached the pandemic alert level which means that it affects not only one country, but several nations already. And recently, new recommendation suggests that all sexually active adolescents should have the screening for HIV.

HIV screening tests involves the extraction of sample blood from a person, and it will be analyzed through series of tests. One of the most common HIV screening tests is the ELISA (enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent) test. This works when the body of the person infected with HIV is producing a special protein called antibodies which fights the infection inside the body. The test looks for the presence of these antibodies in the blood, saliva or in the urine. The person will be diagnosed as positive for having HIV infection if antibodies were present in the blood of the patients.

 

The new recommendation which was released by the American Academy of Pediatrics tackled about priority HIV screening for all those who are sexually active adolescent. Also, the group added that all teenagers who are over 16 years of age who are residing in areas with high number of cases of HIV infection should submit themselves for the screening. This new recommendation was formulated because of the increase in figures of HIV infected individuals who are ages between 13 to 24 years old.

Early diagnosis of the disease means that the spread of infection from one individual to another can be lessened, and prompt medical intervention can be given in order to halter the development of HIV infection to AIDS which is considered a far advanced stage of the disease where most opportunistic infections usually sets it. Also, widespread awareness regarding the disease most especially its mode of transmission is significant in preventing the spread of this epidemic.

Moreover, screening for HIV is very important and everyone support this idea, it is better to diagnose those individuals who are carrying the infection at an earlier time rather than spending a lot of money for complicated treatment modalities as a result of late diagnosis. However, the great issue is whether what strategy is best and cost-effective.

According to AVERT Organization, an international HIV and AIDS Charity organization, “since the first cases of AIDS were identified in 1981, more than 30 million people have died from AIDS. An estimated 1.8 million people died as a result of AIDS in 2009 alone. Although there is no cure for AIDS, HIV infection can be prevented, and those living with HIV can take antiretroviral drugs to prevent or delay the onset of AIDS. However, in many countries across the world access to prevention and treatment services is limited. Global leaders have pledged to work towards universal access to HIV prevention and care, so that millions of deaths can be averted.”

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