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You are here : 3-RX.com > Home > AIDS/HIV -

HIV screening not just for the young

AIDS/HIVJun 17, 08

Screening for HIV infection in people older than 55 years of age is likely to be worthwhile in terms of the cost of screening balanced against the potential savings in heath care costs and the gain in years of life, according to a report in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Recent guidelines by the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend screening for HIV infection in everyone between 13 and 64 years of age. Whether screening is cost-effective for people in the 55-to-75 age range, however, was unclear.

The cost and benefits of screening depend on the total expense of testing and counseling, the amount of disease in the community and how likely any given person is to be infected, and the potential benefits when the disease is caught early.

Dr. Gillian D. Sanders, from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and colleagues calculate that streamlined counseling and HIV screening of 65-year-old people would cost less than $60,000 for every quality-adjusted life-year saved, even in areas where only 1 in 1000 people are infected.

That cost-benefit ratio compares favorably with other interventions considered worthwhile, the team points out.

“Advanced age alone should not preclude screening for HIV. Rather, for many people in this age group, the cost-effectiveness of screening is within the range of that of other accepted interventions,” the investigators conclude.

SOURCE: Annals of Internal Medicine, June 17, 2008.

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