HIV testing for teens

Filed under: Teens, Health & Safety: Babies, Medical Conditions

England's Department of Health is recommending that everyone, starting at age fifteen, in some parts of the country be offered an HIV test by their doctor. The reason is to make the test seem more routine. "Until recently it was regarded as something exceptional that you needed special counseling for," explained Dr. Adrian Palfreeman, who authored the guidelines. "What we're saying is that, in these areas, anyone attending primary health care the offer of the test should be made - for example when the patient registers with the GP for the first time."

The testing would, of course, be voluntary. Still, if it becomes just one of the tests people take, then people are more likely to be diagnosed earlier on. "Without earlier diagnosis we will not see the reduction in transmission that we need to see, nor a further fall in serious disease," said Professor Peter Borriello, director of the Health Protection Agency Centre for Infections, "Increased HIV testing under the new guidelines should lead to much earlier HIV diagnosis for those that are infected."

It seems to me that, given that teens are sexually active, despite their parents' best efforts, it makes sense to get them tested early on, and to make it routine that they continue to get tested so long as they are sexually active.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.