This summer the Veterans Health Administration recommended that HIV testing be offered as part of routine medical care that is provided to all veterans. (Veterans still need to provide oral consent –testing is not mandatory.) It’s a good idea to get tested, considering that something like 20 percent of HIV positive people don’t realize they’re infected.
I spoke recently with Dr. Henry Anaya, an HIV/AIDS researcher at the VA in Los Angeles to get his perspective on the rationale for the program, how it’s being rolled out, and the expected impact.
One topic we focused on is rapid oral testing for HIV, which enables the patient to receive his or her result during the same appointment where they’re tested. The big advantage of that is that it radically reduces the number of patients lost to follow-up.November 6, 2009