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HIV is a potentially deadly, incurable disease, which is why it is generally regarded more effective to prevent infection than to treat it. For this reason, public health authorities are urging individuals to seek HIV testing.
Public health officials in British Columbia are launching a major campaign to try to convince more doctors to offer HIV testing and for more individuals to seek out the screening, according to the Vancouver Sun. The hope is to get every single person who contacts the healthcare system screened for the infection.
"No question about it, this is a big practice change. In the past, we have targeted people in high risk groups (like men who have sex with men) but now we need to go beyond that and offer tests to anyone who has ever had sex," Dr. Reka Gustafson, medical health officer, communicable disease control, for Vancouver Coastal Health, told the news source.
Similar strategies have been proposed in the U.S. but have yet to be implemented. Groups have called for HIV testing to become a standard part of routine healthcare services, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls screening the most effective way to slow the spread of the disease.
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