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Routine HIV Testing
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Although there has been talk of the stigma attached to AIDS dying down, it is still very real and present. I was thrilled to see that the CDC wants to make HIV testing more routine, because in society today, people who want to get tested are actually indirectly discouraged from doing so, by insurance companies. A friend of mine, who is by no means in a group that would be considered "high risk" by most but who has had a few sexual partners, went to Planned Parenthood and asked to be tested for HIV. They advised her to go elsewhere and get an anonymous test rather than getting it there, because if she got tested at the PP clinic, it would go into her medical records. Even if the test was negative, she would then be labeled as "high risk" by insurance companies, making it more difficult and costly for her to get good medical insurance in the future. Thus, last year when I wanted to get tested myself (and I am also not in a "high risk" group but simply wanted to ensure that I was clean before becoming sexually involved with my new partner), I didn't do so because it was too difficult and expensive.

Despite the stigma, AIDS crosses all boundaries, and although some people could be considered at high risk, we are all at some risk of HIV today. Anyone who is at all sexually active ought to be able to get routinely tested for HIV, because the virus is out there and it does not discriminate against "low risk" individuals. Making the testing more accessible and routine will make it impossible for insurance companies to discriminate against HIV-negative people who have been tested. Consequently, more people will be willing to be tested, and those who learn they are HIV+ will be less likely to pass it on. This is a great opportunity to slow down an impending epidemic.


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Despite the stigma, AIDS crosses all boundaries, and although some people could be considered at high risk, we are all at some risk of HIV today.

Heard a doctor talking on the radio this morning that the "Viagra Generation" can be a risky group. Plainly speaking, people who are not supposed to be sexually active are getting horny again. They can help the spread of HIV.


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