HIV Screening Receives Federal "A" Rating

HIV Screening Receives Federal "A" Rating

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued Screening for HIV: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement on April 2013, endorsing routine HIV testing for all adolescents and adults ages 15 through 65, as follows:

  • The USPSTF recommends that clinicians screen for HIV infection in adolescents and adults aged 15 to 65 years. Younger adolescents and older adults who are at increased risk should also be screened (A recommendation).
  • The USPSTF recommends that clinicians screen all pregnant women for HIV, including those who present in labor who are untested and whose HIV status is unknown. (A recommendation)

The new recommendations are "A" ratings, meaning that routine HIV screening is now defined as one of the preventive services under the Essential Health Benefits (EHB) package that must be included in all new group and individual plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Under ACA, USPSTF A and B ratings (listed here) are included in the EHB package. Previously, USPSTF had assigned "A" ratings only for people deemed at risk for HIV and pregnant women, assigning broader HIV screening with a "C" rating. 

The new recommendations are more in line with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) HIV testing recommendations issued in 2006, calling for routine testing for anyone between the ages of 13 and 64.