Voluntary screening for HIV should be routine for all adults, not just those at high risk, according to a study by Yale researchers. The team reports in the December 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine that routine HIV screening is cost-effective, even in communities where as few as two in 1,000 people have undiagnosed HIV infection. Early identification of HIV leads to better health outcomes and longer life expectancies in HIV-infected persons.

The study provides strong support for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines issued in September 2006 that recommend routine HIV screening of all persons age 13 to 64 in all health care settings.

“Early identification of HIV saves lives,” said principal investigator A. David Paltiel, M.P.P.M., Ph.D., professor of public health and management sciences.