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U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Invites Public Comment on Draft Recommendations Related to HIV & HCV Screening

Recently, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Exit Disclaimer (USPSTF) issued draft recommendations pertaining to HIV and viral hepatitis screening and is inviting public comments on both.

The Task Force is an independent group of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine that works to improve the health of all Americans by making evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings, counseling services, and preventive medications.

On November 20, 2012 the USPSTF released draft recommendations for HIV screening Exit Disclaimer. The draft recommendation applies to all people aged 15 to 65 and all pregnant women. Public comments can be submitted online Exit Disclaimer to the Task Force until December 17. A fact sheet Exit Disclaimer (PDF) that explains the draft recommendation statement in plain language is also available.

On November 27, 2012, the USPSFT released draft recommendations for screening adults for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection Exit Disclaimer. Public comments can be submitted online Exit Disclaimer to the Task Force until December 24. A fact sheet Exit Disclaimer (PDF) that explains the draft recommendation statement in plain language is also available.

Comments

  1. Jennifer Morath says:

    It will greatly increase the cost of healthcare and not guarantee the stopping of the spread of the disease because people who are not responsible enough to refrain from dangerous behavior such as drug use and illicit sexual activities will more than likely not be responsible enough to stop those activities once they find out they have the HIV virus. And that is the only way to stop the spread of it. They should never be told that there is a “safe” way to do drugs or to engage in illicit sex because there isn’t. This kind of cart blanch testing could actually lead to increased HIV incidences if people are told they can engage in these activities safely thus giving them a false sense of security that would encourage them to continue a highly risky (under any circumstances) behavior. Tax dollars would be better spent on an educational campaign to young and old on abstinence from drug use and illicit sex; ie sex outside of heterosexual marriage.

    • Kellie says:

      I can tell you after twenty years in the public health sector, providing risk reduction couseling, testing, and prevention education for HIV/STD/Hepaitits, risk taking is never a simple “To do or not to do…” choice. In fact, risk taking is a complex beast, made up of learned behaviors, personality traits, physical and mental addictions, environmental pressures, and maladaptive coping strategies that can take years to unravel and redirect toward a healthier path. Don’t we give the cigarette smoker a “step down” option through nicotine replacement? Don’t we tell the obese individual with cholesteral that’s off the chart, “One day at a time. It’s a lifestyle change, no crash diet will get you there.” ? Let’s stop attaching stigma to the behaviors that lead to HIV, HCV, and other STI. Why not begin empowering the sexual or drug “risk taker” with the tools on how to at least prevent physical disease? How could anyone in the helping profession take on the attitude that offering the sexual/drug risk-taker safer options (such as clean needles, condoms, safer sex/use instructions) would be some kind of endorsement to keep on doing what you’re doing? The true helper calls this Harm or Risk Reduction and it allows us or the risk-taker to gain some power and a sense of control over the risk-taking process, and increase the chances of a healthy outcome. Why are we as a nation so afraid to face our people as they are and not how we expect they should be?

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