Casting a wide net

HIV is clearly something not to be missed, and with modern HAART therapy, a previously considered devastating diagnosis can lead to an almost normal life expectancy, as long as the disease is picked up early. So why not just screen every adult that turns up to ED?

This study from Paris looked at over 12,000 patients who agreed to undergo HIV testing; turns out just 18 were HIV positive and 17 were in a high risk group anyway. 12 of these patients had been tested before. Most of the lot that were identified were already at a late stage.

So, not a strong argument for population wide screening. Guess we will have to go back to using clinical skills to augment our pre-test probability..

Check out the article in the Archives of Internal Medicine, here

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