AIDS- and HIV-related infections have changed significantly over the last decade. Although the overall incidence has declined, young adults have shown an increase in AIDS, with 50% of all new HIV infections in this age group. Many of these new HIV infections are in patients who are “late presenters.” These patients have received less care and are more likely to have unknowingly transmitted the infection. Routine screening identifies patients earlier, decreases the stigma associated with HIV testing, and increases the likelihood of future testing during risky behavior periods. The authors review the current role of the ED provider in identifying and managing patients with potential HIV.
— Ann M. Dietrich, MD, Editor