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Am J Public Health. 2010 Sep;100(9):1765-8. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.182790. Epub 2010 Jul 15.

Assessing targeted screening and low rates of HIV testing.

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  • 1Infectious Diseases Section (151B), VA Medical Center, 50 Irving St, NW, Washington, DC 20422, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We assessed rates of HIV testing based on targeting patients with identified risk factors at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, DC (VAMC-DC), where written informed consent along with pretest and posttest counseling had, until recently, been required by federal law.

METHODS:

A cumulative retrospective review of the period 2000 through 2007 was conducted to assess the number of patients who were provided medical care at VAMC-DC, tested for HIV, and underwent confirmatory testing. Data on demographic characteristics and risks for HIV acquisition were also collected.

RESULTS:

At VAMC-DC, 3.8% to 4.9% (mean=4.25%) of patients in care without known HIV infection underwent HIV screening annually. On average, HIV was confirmed at a yearly rate of 3.4% among those tested. During the study period, HIV prevalence ranged from 2.1% to 2.5%. Among patients receiving HIV care, 41.5% disclosed no risk factors for HIV acquisition.

CONCLUSIONS:

Given that the HIV prevalence observed in this study was above 2% and that 41.5% of patients in care did not disclose any acquisition risks, targeted HIV screening has not been sufficient. HIV testing must be broadened and offered as part of routine medical care.

PMID:
20634454
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2920953
Free PMC Article
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