HIV Testing

HIV screening among the general population is cost effective and the cost is comparable to other screenings and medical interventions.

The use of antiretroviral therapy by infected persons can drastically reduces their infectiousness. So identifying those with the disease offers a significant public health opportunity to get infected individuals into care and treatment, and also prevent others from contracting the disease.

Additionally, studies have shown that people who know their HIV positive status are more likely to take precautions to reduce the spread of HIV disease.

Prenatal and Perinatal HIV Testing

Prenatal and perinatal HIV testing is one of the big success stories in HIV and public health. Between 1988- 1993 in the US, an estimated 1000-2000 children annually became infected with HIV through mother-to-child transmission. However, following the standardization of perinatal routine testing, the number dramatically decreased. By 2006, just over 100 babies were born with the infection annually in the US.

The CDC currently recommends that HIV screening should be included in the routine panel of prenatal screening tests for all pregnant women. Repeat screening in the third trimester is also recommended in certain jurisdictions with elevated rates of HIV infection among pregnant women.

Prenatal and Perinatal HIV Testing Guidelines – American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)

Routine Testing

In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued Revised Clinical Guidelines on Routine HIV Testing for all patients in clinical settings. These guidelines profoundly changes the standards for HIV testing in the United States.

In 2013, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) designated Routine HIV Testing with an “A” grade, providing for greater coverage of routine testing services by federal and state coverage programs.

HIV Testing Clinical Resources:

For urgent questions about HIV testing or HIV care, the following hotlines are available for providers, and staffed by physicians

  • The Warmline (800-933-3413)
    A national HIV/AIDS telephone consultation service, the Warmline provides expert clinical advice on HIV/AIDS management for health care providers. For those with limited access to expert consultation, to those with complex antiretroviral resistance dilemmas, the Warmline is available 9am-8pm EST M-F (6am-5pm PST). *Solicite una consulta en Español.
  • Perinatal HIV Hotline (888-448-8765)
    A national Perinatal HIV consultation & referral service, the Perinatal Hotline provides around-the-clock advice on indications and interpretations of standard and rapid HIV testing in pregnancy as well as consultation on antiretroviral use in pregnancy, labor and delivery, and the postpartum period. The Perinatal HIV Consultation and Referral Service also links HIV-infected pregnant women with appropriate health care. Available 24/7.
  • The PEPline (888-448-4911)
    A national clinicians’ Post-Exposure Prophylaxis hotline, the PEPline provides around-the-clock expert guidance in managing healthcare worker exposures to HIV and hepatitis B and C. Callers receive immediate post-exposure prophylaxis recommendations. Available 9am-8pm EST M-F (6am-5pm PST) and 11am-8pm EST (8am-5pm PST) weekends and holidays.

Additional Resources:

Along with the American Medical Association (AMA) and the CDC, AAHIVM produced the Coding Guide for Routine HIV Testing, a complete resource on HIV testing coding and reimbursement. Download a printable version of the Guide or order hard copy brochures. Download: Coding Guide for Routine HIV Testing

CDC HIV Self-Testing Resources