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J Midwifery Womens Health. 2011 Jul-Aug;56(4):395-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1542-2011.2011.00031.x. Epub 2011 May 31.

Integration of routine rapid HIV screening in an urban family planning clinic.

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  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine, 245 N. 15th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19101, USA.



Family planning centers can play an important role in HIV screening, education, and risk-reduction counseling for women who are sexually active. This article describes how 1 urban Title X-funded family planning clinic transitioned from using a designated HIV counselor for targeted testing to a model that uses clinic staff to provide integrated, routine, nontargeted, rapid HIV testing as standard of care.


Representative clinic staff members developed an integrated testing model that would work within the existing clinic flow. Education sessions were provided to all staff, signs promoting routine HIV testing were posted, and patient and clinician information materials were developed. A review of HIV testing documentation in medical charts was performed after the new model of routine, nontargeted, rapid HIV testing was integrated, to determine any changes in patient testing rates. A survey was given to all staff members 6 months after the transition to full integration of HIV testing to evaluate the systems change process.


Two years after the transition, the rate of patients with an HIV test in the medical chart within the last 12 months increased 25.5%. The testing acceptance rate increased 17%. Sixteen HIV seropositive individuals were identified and linked into medical care. All surveyed clinic staff agreed that offering routine HIV screening to all patients is very important, and 78% rated the integration efforts as successful.


Integrating routine HIV screening into a family planning clinic can be critical to identifying new HIV infections in women. This initiative demonstrated that routine, nontargeted, rapid HIV screening can be offered successfully as a standard of care in a high-volume, urban, reproductive health care setting. This description and evaluation of the process of changing the model of HIV testing in a clinic setting is useful for clinicians who are interested in expanding routine HIV testing in their clinics.

© 2011 by the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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