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December 22, 1989

Are Human Immunodeficiency Virus Test Reports Clear to Clinicians?

Author Affiliations

Centers for Disease Control Atlanta, Ga

Centers for Disease Control Atlanta, Ga

JAMA. 1989;262(24):3465-3466. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430240101040

All physicians, regardless of their specialty, will be ordering and interpreting larger numbers of tests for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the near future. Estimates provided by nearly 1000 US laboratories enrolled in the Centers for Disease Control's Model Performance Evaluation Program for HIV-1 antibody testing1 indicate that these laboratories performed between 23 and 32 million tests for HIV-1 antibody in 1988. The reasons for increased HIV testing are manifold. Not only are millions of HIV antibody tests being performed in mandated screening programs (such as those for blood donors and military recruit applicants), but clinical uses of the test are also on the rise. The availability of effective medical intervention at earlier stages of HIV infection, such as the administration of zidovudine to patients who are asymptomatically infected to prevent onset of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and the recommendation to use sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim or aerosolized pentamidine for Pneumocystis carinii