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Providing HIV testing to all adults may help slow but not eliminate infections

Category: HIV

While many experts advocate HIV testing as a means for slowing the epidemic spread of the infection, a recently release report suggests that universal testing may not be enough to eradicate the disease from Washington, D.C. neighborhoods.

The World Health Organization had previously suggested that testing all adults and treating those infected with the disease with antiviral medications could nearly eradicate the virus. However, an examination of epidemiological data from the nation's capital has found that this is likely not the case.

"Test-and-treat will save lives, but it won't stop the HIV epidemic in its tracks all by itself," says Rochelle Walensky, of the Massachusetts General Hospital Division of Infectious Disease, who led the study."It is only a single new and important page in the HIV-prevention playbook."

While the investigation found that it would not completely eliminate the disease, researchers did estimate that HIV testing could lower the rates of infection by 15 percent over the next five years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that HIV testing may be one of the most effective methods for curbing rates of infection.

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