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AIDS journal publishes findings of 2 important studies in Mar. 2013 issue

1. Research Results Show Current CDC HIV Screening Guidelines Are Too Conservative and Not Cost-Effective
2. Study Says Heavy Drinking Leads to Increased HIV Risk for Men Who Have Sex with Men

Philadelphia, Pa. (March 4, 2013) - The results of two important studies have been published in the March issue of AIDS, the official journal of the International AIDS Society . One study notes that screening for HIV should be performed more frequently—up to every three months for the highest-risk patients, while low-risk groups to be tested every three years. A second study demonstrates a link between heavy drinking and risky behaviors for men who have sex with men (MSM). AIDS is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins , a part of Wolters Kluwer Health .

Northwestern University Study Researches the Most Cost-Effective Approach to HIV Screening

The mathematical modeling study was performed to assess "optimal testing frequencies" for HIV screening in different risk groups. Current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines recommend annual testing for high-risk groups, such as people with HIV-positive partners, people with multiple partners, injection drug users, and sex workers and once-in-a-lifetime testing for low-risk groups (whose annual risk of acquiring HIV is only one-hundredth of one percent).

The researchers modeled various scenarios in an attempt to "optimize the tradeoff" between the societal costs of testing versus the benefits of earlier HIV diagnosis over a patient's lifetime. Frequent testing is shown to be an effective method for identifying new HIV infections. In the past, people with new HIV infections weren't treated until they had significant declines in immune functioning, as measured by the CD4 cell count. But there's a growing consensus that antiretroviral treatment is beneficial for all HIV-infected patients, regardless of CD4 count. Starting treatment immediately after diagnosis also reduces the risk of transmitting HIV.

Within its limitations, the study suggests that current recommendations for HIV testing are "too conservative, especially for low risk groups who would benefit from more frequent testing," according to Lucas and Armbruster. They conclude, "These results should encourage policymakers and medical professionals to reconsider how often adolescents and adults should be tested for HIV."

The full article is available on the AIDS journal homepage and in the March 13 print and online edition.

About AIDS
AIDS publishes the very latest ground-breaking research on HIV and AIDS. Read by all the top clinicians and researchers, AIDS has the highest impact of all AIDS-related journals. With 18 issues per year, AIDS guarantees the authoritative presentation of even more significant advances. The Editors, themselves noted international experts who know the demands of HIV/AIDS research, are committed to making AIDS the most distinguished and innovative journal in the field. Visit the journal website at www.aidsonline.com.

About Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW) is a leading international publisher of trusted content delivered in innovative ways to practitioners, professionals and students to learn new skills, stay current on their practice, and make important decisions to improve patient care and clinical outcomes. LWW is part of Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading global provider of information, business intelligence and point-of-care solutions for the healthcare industry. Wolters Kluwer Health is part of Wolters Kluwer, a market-leading global information services company with 2012 annual revenues of €3.6 billion ($4.6 billion).

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Contact: Connie Hughes
connie.hughes@wolterskluwer.com
646-674-6348
Wolters Kluwer Health

Source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-03/wkh-ajp030413.php


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