What are the CDC HIV testing recommendations?

Updated: Sep 19, 2018
  • Author: David J Cennimo, MD, FAAP, FACP, AAHIVS; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published revised recommendations for HIV testing in adults, adolescents, and pregnant women in health care settings. [17, 18] The process of HIV testing should be voluntary, informed, and free from coercion, with the right to “opt out.” Importantly, a written separate consent is not required.

The CDC recommends routine HIV testing in the following populations:

  • All persons aged 13-64 years in all health care setting; risk assessment is not required to perform the test, and the test should be performed on a routine basis unless the prevalence of undiagnosed HIV infection in the population being tested is less than 0.1%

  • Routine screening should also be performed in all persons seeking treatment for a sexually transmitted disease (STD) on each visit, regardless of whether the person is known or suspected to have a risk behavior for HIV infection

  • Screening should be performed in all persons initiating treatment for tuberculosis

  • Persons with signs and symptoms or illnesses consistent with HIV infection should also be tested

Repeat HIV testing should be offered to and performed at least once a year in individuals considered at high risk for HIV infection, as follows:

  • Injection-drug users and their sex partners

  • Persons who exchange sex for money or drugs

  • Partner of an HIV-infected person

  • Person or partner who has had more than one sexual partner since their last HIV test; persons starting a new sexual relationship are also encouraged to be tested, regardless of a previous negative test result

  • Annual HIV testing should be offered to men who have sex with men (MSM) who are sexually active. However, for MSM who are prescribed preexposure prophylaxis, HIV testing should be done every 3 months or when signs and symptoms of acute HIV infection are reported. [19]

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