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April 21, 2011

VA Expands HIV Testing, Doubles Number of Veterans Tested

In 2010, reformed HIV testing procedures helped more than double the number of veterans tested by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) system, MedPage Today reports. Following a 2006 recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amended federal law and expanded HIV testing, making testing a more routine part of health care and streamlining its consent policy. The new policy abandons written informed consent for HIV tests, and the test is omitted only if the patient specifically says no. During the first year of the new policy, the VA tested 342,293 veterans out of 5.86 million outpatients. HIV testing rose in all VA regions, although not uniformly. The rate of positive tests fell slightly, a decrease attributed to the expanded testing.

To read the MedPage Today article, click here.

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