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Published on May 14, 2013
CDC data indicate that roughly 18% of the estimated 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States are unaware of being infected with HIV. Community Health Centers (CHCs) have an important role to play in this public health crisis. In keeping with CDC's 2006 guidelines recommending routine HIV screening, all patients seeking primary care services in health centers should be screened for HIV. The United States Preventative Health Task Force has given routine HIV screening an A rating. Routine HIV and STD screenings not only provide the opportunity to educate patients about transmission of HIV and STDs, but also can allow people who are infected to receive care and services. Just as HIV testing of pregnant women has become a standard of care, so too should HIV and STD screening be included as a standard of care along with cholesterol or blood sugar screenings.