Adolescents and HIV infection: The pediatrician's role in promoting routine testing

Patricia J. Emmanuel*, Jaime Martinez, Patricia M. Flynn, Grace M. Aldrovandi, Ellen Gould Chadwick, Rana Chakraborty, Ellen Rae Cooper, Russell B. Van Dyke, Michael Brady, Laura Hoyt, Kenneth L. Dominguez, Lynne M. Mofenson, Gordon E. Schutze, Anjie Emanuel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Pediatricians can play a key role in preventing and controlling HIV infection by promoting risk-reduction counseling and offering routine HIV testing to adolescent and young adult patients. Most sexually active youth do not feel that they are at risk of contracting HIV and have never been tested. Obtaining a sexual history and creating an atmosphere that promotes nonjudgmental risk counseling is a key component of the adolescent visit. In light of increasing numbers of people with HIV/AIDS and missed opportunities for HIV testing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends universal and routine HIV testing for all patients seen in health care settings who are 13 to 64 years of age. There are advances in diagnostics and treatment that help support this recommendation. This policy statement reviews the epidemiologic data and recommends that routine screening be offered to all adolescents at least once by 16 to 18 years of age in health care settings when the prevalence of HIV in the patient population is more than 0.1%. In areas of lower community HIV prevalence, routine HIV testing is encouraged for all sexually active adolescents and those with other risk factors for HIV. This statement addresses many of the real and perceived barriers that pediatricians face in promoting routine HIV testing for their patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1023-1029
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Adolescence
  • HIV testing
  • Opt-out testing
  • Risk-reduction counseling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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