Medicare Preventive Services

HIV Screenings

Few things are more important than preventive services [link to Preventive Services main page] when it comes to maintaining your health.

Regular checkups and diagnostic procedures are the key to detecting many health concerns in their earliest stages, when the prognosis and chances for a full recovery are best. Early detection is likely to help your pocketbook as well. Not only can preventive care save your life, it can save you thousands of dollars.


HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) infects an estimated 1 million Americans. Infection usually occurs as a result of sexual contact with an infected person, blood contact, or transmission during pregnancy from mother to child.

HIV does not discriminate according to age. Although careful screening of blood products has put elderly Americans receiving blood transfusions at less risk in recent years, transmission of HIV through unprotected heterosexual contact has been on the rise among older Americans. About half of elderly American women currently infected with HIV were infected in this way.

Because symptoms often appear as minor as a fever or rash, many people infected with HIV are unaware that they are infected. While development of HIV antibodies normally occurs three to six weeks following infection, the infection can remain latent for 10-15 years until serious symptoms of AIDS start to show.

Early detection and treatment are the keys to staying healthy. Without treatment, most HIV-infected persons with AIDS develop serious complications often leading to death. The earlier treatment begins, the better.

HIV Screenings

The key to early treatment is early detection.

To help make early detection possible, Medicare covers one HIV screening every 12 months for anyone on Medicare who asks for the test.

Under Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B) you pay nothing for the test. Generally, you pay 20% for the doctor visit, but if you are enrolled in a Medicare supplement plan, your plan should cover this 20% share.

If you are enrolled in Medicare Advantage Plan, you must go to a referred specialist for your screening.

Recent reviews of data have shown that aging contributes to an increased mortality rate among people with HIV-related illnesses. In general, elderly people are more prone to infections, and data has shown that elderly Americans who contract AIDS are at increased risk for various types of cancer.

Avoiding unsafe sexual practices and never sharing drug needles are important precautions you can take to increase your chances of staying healthy. Regular HIV screenings can also go a long way toward providing peace of mind or allowing the early detection that may well save your life.

Medicare can be a great help in providing the preventive care you need to maintain your good health—if you have the experience and knowledge to take advantage of it.

Contact MedicareMall now and let us save you money and lead you with confidence through the Medicare maze!

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