HIV Testing and Counseling Services in Nashville, Tennessee

Rapid HIV testing centers in Tennessee provide special care for adults. The Vanderbilt Comprehensive Care Clinic is a medical home for people living with HIV disease, offering high-quality, affordable health care for all your health needs. In 2002, an estimated 38 to 44% of all adults in the United States had been tested for HIV; 16 to 22 million people between 18 and 64 years old were tested for HIV every year. However, by the end of 2003, of the approximately 1,000 to 1.2 million people estimated to be living with HIV in the United States, approximately a quarter (between 252,000 and 312,000 people) were unaware of their infection and, therefore, could not benefit from clinical care to reduce morbidity and mortality.

Treatment has dramatically improved survival rates since the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in 1995. However, progress in making an earlier diagnosis has been insufficient. Between 1990 and 1992, the proportion of people who tested positive for HIV for the first time was only 8%.The objectives of the recommendations on testing for HIV in health care settings are to increase HIV testing in patients (including pregnant women); to promote earlier detection of HIV infection; to identify and advise people with an unrecognized HIV infection and link them to clinical and preventive services; and to further reduce perinatal transmission of HIV in the United States. Test people with clinical signs or symptoms consistent with HIV infection. Test all people in a defined population for HIV.

Conduct an HIV test for subpopulations of people at higher risk, which are usually defined based on behavioral, clinical, or demographic characteristics. Perform an HIV test after notifying the patient that the test will be performed, and the patient can choose to decline or postpone the test. Consent is deducted unless the patient refuses to perform the test. An interactive process for assessing risk is used to recognize specific behaviors that increase the risk of contracting or transmitting HIV, and develop a plan to take specific measures to reduce risks. In 1985, when HIV tests were first done, the main purpose of these tests was to protect the blood supply.

Alternative testing sites were established to dissuade people from using blood banks to find out their HIV status. At the time, professionals' opinions were divided as to the usefulness of HIV testing and whether it should be encouraged because there was no consensus on whether a positive test predicted transmission to sexual partners or from mother to baby. There was no effective treatment and counseling was designed, in part, to ensure that people being tested knew that the meaning of positive test results was uncertain. In 1987, the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) published guidelines that prioritized HIV counseling and testing as a prevention strategy for people most likely to be infected or who practiced high-risk behaviors, and recommended routine testing for all people seeking treatment for STDs regardless of healthcare setting. The routine was defined as a policy to provide these services to all customers after informing them that the tests would be carried out. In 2001, CDC amended recommendations for pregnant women to emphasize HIV screening as a routine part of prenatal care, streamlining the testing process so that pre-testing counseling would not represent an obstacle, and allowing flexibility in the consent process. In addition, CDC recommendations for HIV testing in healthcare settings were expanded to include several additional clinical centers in public and private health sectors. The CDC recommended that HIV testing be routinely offered to all patients in healthcare settings with high HIV prevalence.

In low-prevalence settings where most patients are at minimal risk it was considered more feasible to perform specific HIV tests based on risk detection. These revised CDC recommendations advocate for voluntary and routine screening for HIV as a normal part of medical practice similar to screening for other treatable conditions. Screening tests are a basic public health tool used to identify unrecognized health conditions before symptoms occur and reduce transmission continuing. These successes contrast with a relative lack of progress in preventing sexual transmission of HIV where screening is rarely performed.

The decline in incidence of HIV observed in early 1990s has stabilized and could even have been reversed in certain populations recently. Since 1998 estimated number of new infections has remained stable at approximately 40,000 per year. In 2001 Institute of Medicine (IOM) emphasized prevention services for people infected with HIV and recommended policies to diagnose infections early in order increase number of people infected with HIV who were aware of their infection and offered clinical and preventive services. Most people who know they are infected with HIV substantially reduce sexual behaviors that can transmit HIV once they realize they are infected.

In meta-analysis of results from eight studies prevalence of unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse with uninfected partners was 68% lower in those who knew their status than those who were unaware. To increase diagnosis of HIV infection de-stigmatize testing process link clinical care with prevention and ensure immediate access clinical care for those with newly identified infection Nashville Tennessee offers several options for rapid testing centers providing special care adults living with disease.