National HIV Testing Day is observed annually in the United States on June 27 every year. The 2018 annual one-day campaign aims to highlight the importance of testing for correctly detecting, treating and preventing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a retrovirus that damages the cells in your immune system and weakens your body’s ability to fight everyday infections. Many people with HIV do not experience any particular symptoms and the only way to identify whether you have HIV is to get tested. There is currently no cure for HIV. However, there are effective drug treatments that enable virus-affected people to better manage their symptoms and live a long and healthy life. For correct clinical documentation of this condition, physicians can consider medical billing outsourcing services.

National HIV Testing Day

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1.1 million people in the United States have HIV. Reports suggest that one in seven people in the United States who have HIV are unaware that they are HIV positive. Awareness of HIV infection through timely testing is the first step towards prevention. CDC recommends that people between the ages of 13 and 64 should get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care.

It is important for healthcare providers to correctly determine which test is best for their patients. Antibody tests check the blood solely for antibodies that the patient’s body makes against HIV. Antibody/antigen tests can detect both antigen and antibodies (part of the virus) and find infections earlier than the anti-body screening tests. This combination test can detect HIV typically within 18-45 days after exposure to the virus. If the test results are positive, several other additional tests are conducted to explore how the infection has progressed and decide on the treatment options.

Even though there is no specific cure for HIV, medications can significantly improve the patient’s general health. Anti-retroviral therapy/medications fights against the HIV infection and slow down the spread of the virus in the body. The diagnosis, screening tests and other procedures performed by infectious disease specialists or other physicians must be carefully documented using the correct medical codes. Medical billing and coding services provided by reputable medical billing companies can help physicians use the correct codes for their medical billing purposes. ICD-10 codes used for HIV include –

  • B20 – Human immunodeficiency virus [HIV] disease
    • HIV disease
    • AIDS
    • AIDS – related complex [ARC]
    • AIDS – related conditions
    • HIV infection, symptomatic
  • Z21 – Asymptomatic human immunodeficiency virus [HIV] infection status
    • HIV infection
    • HIV positive
    • HIV
    • Known HIV
    • HIV virus
    • HIV status
    • HIV test positive
    • HIV infection, asymptomatic
  • Z20.6 – Contact with and (suspected) exposure to human immunodeficiency virus [HIV]
  • Z11.4 – Encounter for screening for human immunodeficiency virus [HIV]
  • R75 – Inconclusive laboratory evidence of human immunodeficiency virus [HIV]

The one-day national campaign is an annual platform to encourage people to undergo an HIV test, know their status and get linked to care and treatment if they have HIV. The theme for the 2018 campaign is – “Doing It My Way, Testing for HIV” and reminds us that each person has his/her own reasons why they test for HIV, and their own unique ways of doing so. Health professionals, partners, health departments and other organizations across the nation use this campaign to raise awareness about the importance of HIV testing and early diagnosis of HIV.

Join “National HIV Testing Day” on June 27. Get tested for HIV, know your status and focus on further care and treatment services.