Monday, August 4, 2008

HIV Screening for All Women

.....regardless of age!

The August issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology published a committee opinion suggesting "Routine Human Immunodeficiency Virus Screening" for all women between the ages of 19 and 64.

The article estimates that one-quarter of all Americans with HIV are unaware of their status. Women continue to represent a growing proportion of HIV and AIDS cases, and it's critical that they know their status.

When we add the HIV numbers to the fact that one out of every four women over the age of 12 would test positive for incurable genital herpes (according to the CDC one third of these women are asymptomatic and don't know they are potentially infecting everyone with whom they have a sexual encounter). Lest you male readers think you are off the hook, one out of every five of you would test positive for genital herpes -one third of all males with genital herpes are asymptomatic, as well.

Given this data, isn't it time for all health professionals to stop acting like teenage and senior sex doesn't happen. This includes eye care professionals, since both ocular herpes and AIDS are potentially blinding diseases.

Hopefully, cross- talk between all medical specialties will soon become the norm.