To the Editor: We summarize the costs per test incurred by the U.S. Army since the establishment of programs to test for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in 1985. These costs are now less than $2.50 per serum specimen, as compared with typical commercial charges elsewhere in the United States of $15 for screening and $50 for confirmatory testing. HIV testing in the Army is done under contract with accredited commercial laboratories. Quality assurance is carried out by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. Screening uses enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) of HIV type 1 whole viral lysate; repeatedly reactive.
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