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Am J Public Health. 2012 May;102(5):877-83. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300508. Epub 2012 Mar 15.

Payer status, race/ethnicity, and acceptance of free routine opt-out rapid HIV screening among emergency department patients.

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  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Denver Health Medical Center, Denver, CO, USA.



We estimated associations between payer status, race/ethnicity, and acceptance of nontargeted opt-out rapid HIV screening in the emergency department (ED).


We analyzed data from a prospective clinical trial between 2007 and 2009 at Denver Health. Patients in the ED were offered free HIV testing. Patient demographics and payer status were collected, and we used multivariable logistic regression to estimate associations with HIV testing acceptance.


A total of 31,525 patients made 44, 765 unique visits: 40% were White, 37% Hispanic, 14% Black, 1% Asian, and 7% unknown race/ethnicity. Of all visits, 10 ,237 (23%) agreed to HIV testing; 27% were self-pay, 23% state-sponsored, 18% Medicaid, 13% commercial insurance, 12% Medicare, and 8% another payer source. Compared with commercial insurance patients, self-pay patients (odds ratio [OR] = 1.63; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.51, 1.75), state-sponsored patients (OR = 1.64; 95% CI = 1.52, 1.77), and Medicaid patients (OR = 1.24; 95% CI = 1.14, 1.34) had increased odds of accepting testing. Compared with White patients, Black (OR = 1.29; 95% CI = 1.21, 1.38) and Hispanic (OR = 1.17; 95% CI = 1.11, 1.23) patients had increased odds of accepting testing.


Many ED patients are uninsured or subsidized through government programs and are more likely to consent to free rapid HIV testing.

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