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J Int Assoc Provid AIDS Care. 2018 Jan-Dec;17:2325957417752258. doi: 10.1177/2325957417752258.

Whether Patients Want It or Not, Physician Recommendations Will Convince Them to Accept HIV Testing.

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1 School of Medicine, New York University, New York, NY, USA.
2 Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA.
3 Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA.
4 Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, TX, USA.


Physicians are not routinely offering patients HIV testing, partly due to perceived patient discomfort with discussing HIV. This study assessed patients' comfort level and whether physician recommendations can overcome any discomfort that does exist. In a publicly funded primary care clinic, we administered a survey exploring patient facilitators to HIV testing, with 266 patients answering the 2 main survey questions of interest. Most participants wanted their physician to offer HIV testing (n = 175; 65.8%). Even among participants who did not want their physician to offer HIV testing (n = 91), over half (n = 54; 59.3%) reported they would "likely" or "very likely" accept HIV testing if their physician recommended it. Based on our findings, not only are negative attitudes about HIV testing among patients uncommon but physician recommendations may be able to convince patients to receive HIV testing in spite of patients stating they do not want the test.


HIV; HIV testing; barrier; communication; physician


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