Universal HIV Screening In ERs Not Practical, French Study Suggests

Universal HIV screening in the ER is not a practical option, researchers from France’s Emergency Department HIV-Screening Group write in a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine on Monday, Reuters reports. According to the study, “[m]ore than 1,100 people would have to be offered HIV tests in the emergency room to find just one new infection,” Reuters notes.

According to Jason Haukoos at the Denver Health Medical Center, who wrote an editorial that accompanied the study, “[T]he test used in the new study costs about $10, and limiting it to patients at risk would be the best idea,” Reuters writes. “The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a federally funded expert panel, makes no recommendations about HIV screening of the general public, but recommends testing high-risk groups,” the news agency adds (Joelving, 10/24).