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J Adolesc Health. 2002 Mar;30(3):154-60.

Telephone vs. face-to-face notification of HIV results in high-risk youth.

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Division of Adolescent Health, Department of Pediatrics, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon 97201-3098, USA.



To increase the number of high-risk and homeless youth who receive human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) test results and posttest counseling.


Oral HIV testing and counseling were offered to high-risk and homeless youth at sites at which youth congregate throughout Portland, Oregon. Subjects were randomized to receive test results and posttest counseling either in a face-to-face manner or with the option of telephone notification. Self-reported demographic and risk-behavior information was collected prior to HIV testing. The differences in the proportion of youth who received their test results were analyzed according to the notification method and demographic characteristics using SPSS.


Among the 351 youth who were tested, 48% followed up to receive test results and posttest counseling. Adolescents most likely to receive their results were female, older (19-24 years), and white and those who reported high-risk behaviors. Those given the option of telephone notification were significantly more likely to receive their results than those required to have face-to-face notification (odds ratio = 2.301, 95% confidence interval of 1.499, 3.534). This was true regardless of age, race, history of previous HIV testing, or presence of high-risk behaviors. Two youths tested positive for HIV corroborating previous reports of low HIV prevalence in this population. Both were assigned to the face-to-face notification group and, therefore, no HIV positive results were given by telephone.


The option of telephone notification significantly increased the proportion of youth who received posttest counseling and results following community-based testing.

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