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Ensuring access to treatment for HIV infection

The recent recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for opt-out testing are intended to address the evolving human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic in the United States by bringing more HIV-infected individuals into medical care. This is an important step to better control the epidemic but brings with it the challenges of adequately caring for more individuals infected with HIV and of funding medications and medical care for these additional patients. With more patients being offered HIV testing, there will be a surge in the need for testing and counseling services, which must keep pace with patient demand. This article describes the current status of HIV screening and care from 4 perspectives: the Ryan White Program (previously known as the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act), Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement for HIV screening, a managed care organization, and community health centers. The mandate for routine HIV screening challenges each of these health care entities, but all will need to overcome these challenges if routine HIV screening is to become a reality.

Authors: Cheever LW; Lubinski C; Horberg M; Steinberg JL

Clin Infect Dis. 2007 Dec 15;45 Suppl 4:S266-74.

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