Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

November-20-12

Routine HIV Screening to be Covered Under Obamacare

Yesterday the US Preventive Services Task Force released new guidelines recommending that every American between the ages of 15 and 65 be regularly tested for HIV. The Affordable Care Act requires insurance coverage of all preventive services recommended by the task force, which means that regular HIV testing will now be covered under Obamacare as part of a routine check-up.

1.2 million Americans are currently living with HIV - a number which the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention says has been increasing steadily over the last five years. Despite this prevalence, 20 to 25 percent of HIV-positive individuals are unaware they have the virus. There are about 48,000 new cases of HIV each year in the United States.

Previously, only 'high risk' individuals who had unprotected sex with multiple partners or used intravenous drugs were recommended for HIV testing. However, according to the Preventive Services Task Force, up to a quarter of HIV-positive patients report no risk factors. The new guidelines recommend the screening of every American between the ages of 15 and 65, regardless of 'risk.'

HIV screening is an important preventive measure for the purposes of both treatment and transmission prevention. A regular HIV screening that is as common as a cholesterol test will allow HIV-positive patients to start treatment early, while their immune systems are relatively strong, which will increase their life spans. Evidence also indicates that treatment can reduce the chance of transmitting the virus to an uninfected partner by up to 96 percent.

"This marks a monumental shift in how HIV in the United States can be prevented, diagnosed and treated," said Carl Schmid, deputy executive director of The AIDS Institute.

Thinkprogress points out that Obamacare also increased resources for HIV research and prevention, helps ensure the affordability of HIV treatment, and prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against Americans based on their HIV status.

The draft of the task force's new guidelines is currently available online, and it open for a 30 day public comment period. The guidelines are expected to go into effect sometime within the next year.

Media Resources: US Preventive Services Task Force 11/19/12; ABC News 11/20/12; Thinkprogress 11/20/12; Reuters 11/19/12


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

8/21/2014 Flexible Work Requests Produce Fatherhood Bonus and Motherhood Penalty - According to a recent study, men who request flexible work schedules are advantaged over women who make the same requests. In the study by Dr. . . .
 
8/21/2014 Ugandan President Signs Law Making HIV Transmission Illegal - A bill that criminalizes HIV transmission has been signed into law by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. Provisions of the law include possible imprisonment of HIV-positive individuals, a ten-year prison sentence and fine for the "intentional transmission of HIV," a five-year prison sentence for "attempted transmission of HIV," and compulsory testing in some situations. . . .
 
8/21/2014 Reproductive Justice Activists Testify Before UN About Health Care Discrimination - A joint study by three major women's health advocacy groups calls attention to the overwhelming disparity in health outcomes for women of color in the United States. . . .