Should Everyone in the US Get an HIV Test?

free HIV tests
Of the more than 1.1 million Americans living with HIV, nearly 1 in 5—almost 240,000 people—don't know it. (Derrick Coetzee)

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There's a new push to make testing for the AIDS virus as common as cholesterol checks, according to a report from The Associated Press. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force wants Americans ages 15 to 64 to get an HIV test at least once even if they aren’t considered at high risk for the virus.

“The draft guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force are the latest recommendations that aim to make HIV screening simply a routine part of a check-up, something a doctor can order with as little fuss as a cholesterol test or a mammogram. Since 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has pushed for widespread, routine HIV screening.

"Yet not nearly enough people have heeded that call: Of the more than 1.1 million Americans living with HIV, nearly 1 in 5—almost 240,000 people—don't know it. Not only is their own health at risk without treatment, they could unwittingly be spreading the virus to others.

"The updated guidelines will bring this long-simmering issue before doctors and their patients again—emphasizing that public health experts agree on how important it is to test even people who don't think they're at risk, because they could be.”

What’s your take? Should most Americans seek out an HIV test just to be sure? Even virgins and faithful married couples? Or is this just another way for the government to begin encroaching on your freedom of choice as Obamacare moves closer to becoming a reality?

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