Unnecessary HIV Screenings in the ER

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Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) are considered global health threat because of of its increase in figures of reported cases. One of these sexually transmitted disease which is very common among the major population is HIV/AIDS infection. This disease is already on the edge of infecting large numbers of population across different countries. Everyday the numbers are rising, as according to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV, and that 21% of these persons do not know they are infected. Hence, HIV screening tests are offered to those who are going into the emergency room to diagnose for HIV infection, however, it is impractical, according to researchers from France.

HIV infection is an infection caused by a virus called Human Immunodeficiency Virus. This disease gradually destroys the immune system of an individual making that person weak in fighting diseases and other infections. The virus that causes this infection can be transmitted through many ways. These include: through sexual contact thru semen and vaginal secretions, through blood contact which is usually acquired by blood transfusions, and from mother to child when a pregnant woman has the virus.

The diagnosis of HIV infection is confirmed through certain blood tests because some individuals who have the infection may manifest no clinical symptom of the disease even for about 10 years. These diagnostic test includes Elisa test and Western Blot test.

Due to the rising numbers of repoted cases of individuals with HIV infection. Many people are being offered to undergo certain HIV tests in order to diagnose if they are positive or negative with the said infection. The researchers of the new study estimates that there are about more than 1,100 persons who have experienced being offered with HIV testing in the emergency room to determine another case of HIV infection.

However, researchers claim that this universal HIV screening for individuals who are possible of having the infection is impractical and unnecessary option. In addition, the recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is in contradiction with the universal HIV screening in emergency room.

According to Dr. Kayigan Wilson d’Almeida and colleagues from the Emergency Department HIV-Screening Group, “Unexpectedly, nontargeted screening identified only a few new diagnoses, often already at late stages, and most newly diagnosed patients belonged to a high-risk group and had been tested previously.”

Moreover, the goal of the HIV screening being offered to patients is to prevent the missed opportunity of diagnosing another case of infection. But, the loop whole of the said screening is that it is already becoming unnecessary and impractical. In fact, there are only very few chances to diagnose a case where these individuals who will be subjecting themselves for HIV screening will be positive for HIV infection.



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