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Few veterans receive HIV testing

Category: HIV

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that HIV testing is one of the most effective means for stopping the spread of the infection, and has recommended that all sexually active individuals be screened.

While some public health groups have implemented these recommendations to strong results, other government agencies have been a little slower to heed the advice. A new study from the Infectious Disease Society of America found that the Veteran's Affairs Health System rarely offers HIV testing to its patients, according to MedPage Today.

The findings of the study indicate that of the 5.7 million outpatients seen at VA hospitals, less than 10 percent are given an HIV test. Furthermore, only 2.5 percent of inpatients were screened for the disease.

"We don't know why these testing levels are so low, but they are even low in areas where HIV has a large prevalence," Meredith Welch, an infectious disease officer at the VA who led the study, told the news source. "There may still be some stigma involved with HIV that prevents physicians from asking patients to undergo an HIV test."

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