Healthcare leaders urge Americans to be tested on National HIV Testing Day

June 27, 2014

Today is National HIV Testing Day, and thousands of health facilities, substance abuse centers, family planning organizations, select pharmacies, and other entities throughout the United States are offering free HIV testing, as part of an annual campaign to encourage people of all ages to be tested for HIV. In the U.S., nearly 1.2 million people are living with HIV, and almost one in five don't know they are infected. The HIV test that is being administered to participants is classed as a “waived” test. Waived lab tests are simple tests performed at the point of care that are exempted from most federal oversight.

“While the HIV test may be fast and easy to administer, nonetheless it is critical that we ensure a culture of quality when performing it and any other waived tests,” says Douglas Beigel, Chief Executive Officer of COLA. “Failure to do so has the potential to contribute to errors and to negatively impact quality patient care. That’s why providers and consumers alike should be aware of best waived testing practices, not only for HIV testing, but for all types of waived tests, which are becoming increasingly more common.”

Beigel recommends that test providers adhere to the following guidelines when performing HIV and other waived tests:

  • Follow all test kit manufacturers’ instructions.
  • Regularly check package inserts for any changes to information.
  • Perform Quality Control testing as specified by manufacturers’ instructions.
  • Document the name, lot number, and expiration dates for any tests performed.
  • Ensure testing personnel have proper training.

Learn more about about National HIV Testing Day.

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