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Mandatory: HIV Testing for Teens

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New guidelines in England may require kids as young as 15 should be screened for AIDS.

HIV test

Soon, 15-year-old kids in England could be required to take HIV tests by their general practitioners.

The guidelines, proposed by England's Department of Health, also support improved testing in high-risk groups, such as homosexual men.

Why are we exposing young kids to such serious sexual matters?

According to author of the plan Dr. Adrian Palfreeman, the idea is to normalize HIV testing, and to encourage young people to start taking safety precautions. He adds that early detection will help reduce the odds of transferring the disease.

The guidelines also suggest people get tested any time they visit a hospital -- provided they give their consent.

Doctors point to the statistic that a third of the 73,000 people living with HIV in the UK don't even know they're infected; social stigma is one reason people (of all ages) don't get tested. The theory is the more common testing is, the less shame the disease will carry.

But should we really be insisting on mandatory testing for kids? Or given the fact that many teens are sexually active, is it irresponsible not to?

Tell us --- would you want your 15-year-old tested?

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3 comments so far | Post a comment now
Charles September 23, 2008, 3:46 PM

Better to know than to give someone else a death sentence unknowingly. It is a lifestyle disease, its spread CAN be stopped easily if we really care enough.

Jennifer September 24, 2008, 10:15 AM

The last time I read statistics on STDs in the USA, one out of every four kids in America graduates from high school with an STD and MOST are not aware of it. I don’t think a simple blood test will hurt anyone. Especially if all of the info is kept private. I do believe people who have been diagnosed with HIV have a responsibility to let EVERY partner they have ever had (or will ever have) know.
It’s common sense to me………just my opinion!

PharmacistMike September 29, 2008, 10:15 AM

Something as simple as a blood test that can extend someones life, if they are indeed infected, seems reasonable to me. In the U.S. there are an estimated 250,000 people that are infected with HIV but they are not aware they are infected. Screening is the only way to know for sure.

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