CDC Recommends Routine AIDS Screening

In a major shift in U.S. health policy, the Center for Disease Control will issue recommendations to make HIV screening a routine part of getting health care.

The change means that when patients see a doctor or go to a hospital, they will be asked if they've been tested for HIV and, if they haven't, they will be asked to be screened or tested.

About 1 million Americans have HIV — but an estimated 25 percent do not know they have it. The new policy is meant to get medicines to that sector of infected people, to both extend their lives and cut the further spread of HIV.

NPR's Joseph Shapiro reports on the new policy and goes to a clinic in Washington, D.C., where routine testing is already practice.

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