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Optimizing Outcomes in HIV Treatment - Episode 1

Introduction to the HCPLive Peer Exchange: Optimizing Outcomes in HIV Treatment


The HCPLive Peer Exchange: Optimizing Outcomes in HIV Treatment features insight and opinion on the latest developments in HIV research, diagnosis, and management from leading physician specialists.

This Peer Exchange is moderated by Paul Doghramji, MD, who is a family physician at Collegeville Family Practice in Collegeville, PA, and Medical Director of health services at Ursinus College, also in Collegeville, PA.

The panelists are:

  • Alfred A. DeLuca, MD, Infectious Disease Specialist at CentraState Healthcare System in Manalapan, NJ
  • Ian Frank, MD, Director of Anti-Retroviral Clinical Research and Director of Clinical Core at Penn Center for AIDS Research, and Professor of Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA
  • Paul Sax, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Clinical Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases and the HIV Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital, in Boston, MA

Also participating via video is Amir Qaseem, MD, Director of Clinical Policy for the American College of Physicians, based in Philadelphia, PA.

In the introductory segment, Qaseem offers expert opinions and perspectives on key issues surrounding screening for HIV infection and discusses how current guidelines promote testing and early diagnosis. He refers to the CDC, ACP, USPSTF, and AAFP screening guidelines, noting that all suggest HIV screening should be routine across patient groups and not confined to high-risk populations.

He also outlines several basic criteria physicians should keep in mind when it comes to screening, and talks about the age at which patients should start being screened and how often they should be screened.

According to Qaseem, screening only high-risk patients does not work for a variety reasons, including the fact that many of these patients do not disclose their high-risk behaviors to their physicians. He also notes that mother-to-child transmission “is pretty much gone in the US” because of routine HIV screening in that patient population.