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J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. 2011 Mar-Apr;22(2):81-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jana.2010.07.001. Epub 2010 Aug 13.

Rapid oral fluid testing for HIV in veterans with mental health diagnoses and residing in community-assisted living facilities.

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Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


Veterans with a history of mental health and substance abuse diagnoses, residing in assisted living facilities, are more likely to have an undiagnosed HIV infection related to high-risk behaviors. We determined (a) the cross-sectional prevalence of HIV infection among 65 veterans of unknown HIV serostatus with mental health diagnoses who resided in 11 community-assisted living facilities, and (b) whether patients who had not consented to standard physician-initiated blood testing in the previous 5 years would consent to rapid oral fluid HIV testing by nurses familiar to the subjects. We found an HIV prevalence of 3.1% in the subjects who agreed to be tested (n = 64, 98%). High test acceptance, especially in a group with little HIV screening experience, and the identified high prevalence of disease, suggest that this diagnostic method is effective. Patients' familiarity with the nurses who conducted the testing most likely supported the success of the procedure.

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