New BC HIV/AIDS study shows need for routine testing because early symptoms are too hard to pinpoint

Early HIV infection is difficult for doctors to diagnose using clinical exam skills alone, according to a new BC study by the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

The report, published in the July 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, analyzed data from 24,000 patients and found early symptoms of HIV are often too non-specific for doctors to recognize, meaning they may miss opportunities to refer patients for HIV testing.

“It’s not meant to be critical of physicians, it’s meant to highlight the need for routine testing,” said Dr. Evan Wood, lead author and Canada Research Chair in Inner City Medicine at the University of British Columbia.

Elaine O'Connor reports

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