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AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2009 May;23(5):365-9. doi: 10.1089/apc.2008.0224.

Efficacy and acceptability of rapid, point-of-care HIV testing in two clinical settings in Ghana.

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Department of Medicine, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana.


This study assessed the efficacy and acceptability of two rapid point-of-care HIV assays used in a voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) and a tuberculosis (TB) clinic in Kumasi, Ghana. Over a 4-week period in 2007, 95 individuals attending the VCT clinic and 35 patients with newly diagnosed TB were offered a rapid HIV test. Rates of return for positive results and attendance at the HIV clinic were compared with 471 individuals (395 attending the VCT clinic and 76 patients with TB), tested during an 8-week period 6 months earlier using standard testing procedures. All patients offered a rapid test in each clinic underwent testing, compared to 93% of VCT clients and 40% of TB patients offered a test 6 months earlier. In the rapid testing period, 37%, 60%, and 3% of the VCT clients and 26%, 74% and 0% of the TB patients had positive, negative, or indeterminate serology, respectively. There were no discordant results following retesting of patients with a positive test. All patients attending either the VCT or TB clinics who tested positive for HIV with the point-of-care test returned to the HIV clinic for care, while only 64% and 95%, respectively, of the patients previously testing positive had returned for follow-up. Both clients and staff showed high levels of satisfaction with the rapid testing procedure. In conclusion, rapid point-of-care testing in both of these settings was successful in improving diagnosis of HIV infection and engaging those testing positive in a clinical care program.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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