Howard University Hospital Leads National Effort to Provide Routine HIV Screening for All Patients
First Hospital in the U.S. to offer HIV Testing in All Departments
Washington, D.C., October 23, 2006 – Of the nearly one million Americans living with HIV, some 40 percent get sick before they find out they are infected as reported by the New England Journal of Medicine. Recent data also shows that the HIV prevalence rate in the District of Columbia is more than twice the national average. In an effort to address these spiking infection rates, Howard University Hospital (HUH) will commence routine, voluntary, HIV testing in all clinical departments.
The HIV screening launching ceremony will take place on Monday, Oct. 23, 10 a.m. at the Howard University Hospital, 2041 Georgia Avenue, NW. Special guests include: Tony Award nominated actress, Sheryl Lee Ralph and AIDS activist, Jeanne White Ginder, mother of the late Ryan White.
“Howard University Hospital spearheads a number of HIV/AIDS care and early intervention initiatives. The provision of HIV testing for all our patients is a part of an assiduous effort to combat this deadly disease,” said Dr. Celia Maxwell, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Management and Research (CIDMAR). “Studies show that earlier testing can contribute significantly to slowing the rate of new infections and we are committed to that goal.”
All patients between the ages of 14 and 84 will be tested using the OraSure Advance HIV rapid test device. This oral swab screening delivers results in 20 minutes with 99.8 percent accuracy. Patients whose screenings are positive will be referred to CIDMAR for secondary testing and follow up care.
This recent Hospital initiative answers the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) call for routine testing. Last month, the CDC released new recommendations for health care providers that are designed to make voluntary HIV screening a routine part of medical care for all patients. The CDC report revealed that more than 250,000 HIV-positive Americans are unaware of their infection status.
For more information on HUH’s routine HIV Screening Services call 202-865-4825.
Over the course of its 140-year history of providing the finest primary, secondary and tertiary health-care services, Howard University Hospital, a Level 1 Trauma Center, has become one of the most comprehensive healthcare facilities in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best hospitals in the nation for heart, rheumatology and hormonal disorders, Howard University Hospital is acclaimed as well for gerontology, dentistry and pediatric care, and specializes in Sickle Cell Anemia and Allergy & Asthma, among other clinical areas. As a leading teaching hospital, Howard University Hospital conducts important research and provides education for future health-care providers.