Molecular Testing Labs’ Dr. Chris Hall responds to CDC report indicating HIV testing fell by half, “one of the lowest numbers on record”
Molecular’s Medical Director of Clinical Affairs, Dr. Chris Hall, is an expert on HIV transmission and has spent his career working to reduce barriers related to HIV testing, prevention, and care.
Washington, D.C.: This week, a CDC report shows a disturbing trend in HIV testing. The report highlighted a massive decline in HIV testing. The steep decline in testing indicates thousands of cases are likely unreported. According to the report, CDC funded tests fell by 50% — from 2.4 million swabs to 1.2 million swabs, one of the “lowest numbers on record.”
In response to the new report, infectious disease expert, Dr. Chris Hall issued the following statement:
“Testing is the primary driver for ending a pandemic and while the massive drop in HIV tests is alarming, it is by no means surprising,” said Dr. Hall. “The requirement that HIV test specimens must be collected in a clinic or lab facility to be covered by public and private insurance has long been a barrier to securing the testing required to put an end to HIV transmissions — and COVID-19 has only exacerbated barriers to testing. Options like self-collected, at-home tests should be more available to increase testing, identify those with HIV sooner, arrest forward transmission, and expedite linkage to care if we are truly committed to ending new HIV infections.”
Dr. Hall currently serves as the Medical Director of Clinical Affairs for Molecular Testing Labs, a diagnostic laboratory committed to increasing awareness of alternative testing strategies and removing barriers to HIV testing in order to end the epidemic of HIV.
Bio of Dr. Chris Hall: Dr. Hall began his 30-year career in HIV/AIDS research and treatment working with the National AIDS Network in Washington, D.C., and the National Hemophilia Foundation in New York City. Dr. Hall also served as Clinical Affairs Medical Director for the STD Control Branch of the California Department of Public Health and Medical Director of UCSF’s California Prevention Training Center, prior to more recent work with the National Coalition of STD Directors and two digital healthcare practices with national reach. He has served as a lead investigator for testing device studies, a COVID vaccine study, and oversaw an HIV antiviral prevention study [HPTN 083 evaluating an injectable antiretroviral for HIV PrEP). He currently resides in Sonoma County, CA.