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Sex Health. 2012 May;9(2):160-5. doi: 10.1071/SH10159.

Providing HIV-negative results to low-risk clients by telephone.

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  • 1The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.



In Australia, Health Department policies differ on the recommended method of providing HIV results. Traditionally, all results have been provided in person. Our aim was to trial provision of HIV-negative test results by telephone to low-risk clients attending sexual health services and to assess clients' preferences for delivery method.


During 4 months in 2009 at two sexual health services in Sydney, all clients assessed as low-risk for HIV infection were invited to receive their HIV result by telephone. Non-receipt of results was defined as failure to receive results within 30 days of the test being performed.


Of 763 clients tested, 328 (43%) were excluded following risk assessment, 30 (4%) declined to participate and 405 (53%) were enrolled. Among enrolled clients, 86% received their HIV result by telephone within 30 days, 97% were satisfied with delivery of the result by telephone and 93% preferred telephone delivery for their next HIV result. Only one enrolled client returned a positive HIV result. Independent predictors of receiving results within the 30-day timeframe were clinic attendance for sexually transmissible infection screening (P=0.021), lack of anogenital symptoms (P=0.015) and not being a sex worker (P=0.001).


In this study of telephone provision of HIV results to low HIV-risk clients, there were no adverse events and clients expressed satisfaction with the process plus a strong preference for telephone delivery of future results. There was a decreased rate of failure to receive HIV results compared with other Australian studies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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