European conference aims to encourage HIV testing
HIV/AIDS researchers have been issuing recommendations for primary care providers (PCPs) to be on the lookout for patients who may be infected with the viruses. Undiagnosed individuals are a major contributing factor behind the spread of HIV/AIDS, and these people often have symptoms that come in the form of other diseases, which are easily detected by PCPs.
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen recently announced that members of the HIV in Europe initiative will gather on March 19 and 20 to discuss knowledge about co-morbidities of the virus and how physicians can help spot individuals who should receive an HIV test.
It's estimated that 900,000 out of the 2.5 million HIV-infected people in Europe have yet to be diagnosed. Moreover, many governments have put care and prevention efforts on the backburner as the rate of infected individuals appears to have hit a plateau, according to Ton Coenen, co-chair of HIV in Europe. These facts underscore the need for organizational involvement when it comes to public education on HIV.
Jens Lundgren, co-chair of HIV in Europe, said that there is already a defined set of diseases that are strongly associated with AIDS/HIV, all which point to a weakened immune system. These include sexually transmitted infections, malignant lymphoma, dysplasia of the cervix or anus, herpes, hepatitis B or C, illnesses that mimic mononucleosis, declining white blood cell numbers and seborrheic dermatitis or exanthema.
"We need to find people living with HIV sooner than is currently the case, but to do so requires that doctors and other healthcare professionals offer tests to people presenting with diseases indicative of a hidden and undiagnosed HIV infection earlier in the course of the disease," said Lundgren.