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Everyone in the U.S. between the ages of 13 and 64 years should undergo routine screening for HIV infection, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced today as part of an update on their guidelines for HIV testing. All health-care providers should also incorporate routine, voluntary HIV screening into their daily practice, the CDC officials reported.

About 25% of HIV-positive adults in the US are unaware of their infection, Dr. Bernard M. Branson and his colleagues indicate. The new guidelines are intended to simplify the HIV testing process and increase early HIV diagnosis.

This recommendation will doubtless have substantial impact on the practice standard for doctors and hospitals, and will likely engender substantial debate on the political front. How this recommendation will impact legal liability is unclear at this time. The potential benefit to the testing industry was not discussed in the report.

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