Putting Prevention into Practice

An Evidence-Based Approach

Screening for HIV

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Am Fam Physician. 2014 Apr 15;89(8):665-666.

  Related U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement: Screening for HIV

  Related editorial: AAFP Recommends Universal Screening for HIV Infection Beginning at 18 Years of Age

  Related article: What Is New in HIV Infection?

This clinical content conforms to AAFP criteria for continuing medical education (CME). See CME Quiz Questions.

Author disclosure: No relevant financial affiliations.

Case Study

A 19-year-old woman presents to the university health clinic for a well-woman examination. She reports no problems and mentions that she is sexually active with one male partner, who usually uses condoms. She has never been screened for a sexually transmitted infection.

Case Study Questions

  1. Based on the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), what additional information about this patient is needed to determine whether she should be screened for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection?

    • A. She has volunteered at a homeless shelter for the past year.

    • B. She reports marijuana use in the previous month.

    • C. Her mother was recently diagnosed with tuberculosis.

    • D. Her sex partner was recently diagnosed with chlamydial infection.

    • E. No additional information is needed; the patient should be screened.

  2. The patient asks whether her older sister, who is pregnant with her second child, should be screened for HIV infection. According to the USPSTF's recommendations, which one of the following statements is correct?

    • A. She does not need to be screened if she was tested during her first pregnancy and was found to be HIV-negative.

    • B. She does not need to be screened if she was already tested during her


U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for HIV: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2013;159(1):51–60.

Chou R, Selph S, Dana T, et al. Screening for HIV: systematic review to update the 2005 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation. Ann Intern Med. 2012;157(10):706–718.

The case study and answers to the following questions are based on the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), an independent panel of experts in primary care and prevention that systematically reviews the evidence of effectiveness and develops recommendations for clinical preventive services. More detailed information on this subject is available in the USPSTF Recommendation Statement and the evidence report on the USPSTF website (http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org). The practice recommendations in this activity are available at http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspshivi.htm.

A collection of Putting Prevention into Practice quizzes published in AFP is available at http://www.aafp.org/afp/ppip.

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