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Public Health Rep. 2012 Sep-Oct;127(5):524-31.

HIV screening practices in U.S. hospitals, 2009-2010.

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  • 1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.



A 2004 national survey of hospitals showed that 23.4% of hospitals screened for HIV in at least one department, most frequently in labor and delivery departments. However, less than 2% of these hospitals screened patients in inpatient units, urgent care clinics, or emergency departments. In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended HIV screening for all individuals 13-64 years of age in health-care settings. We determined the frequency of hospital adoption of these CDC recommendations.


We surveyed hospital infection-control personnel at a randomly selected sample of U.S. general medical and surgical hospitals in 2009-2010.


Of the 1,476 hospitals selected for the survey, 754 (51.1%) responded to the survey; of those responding, 703 (93.2%) offered HIV tests for patients at the hospital and 206 (27.3%) screened for HIV in at least one department. Screening was most common in larger hospitals (45.7%), hospitals in large metropolitan areas (50.5%), and teaching hospitals (44.4%); it was least common in public hospitals (19.1%). By department, screening was most common in labor and delivery departments (34.6%) and substance abuse clinics (20.7%); it was least common in emergency departments (11.9%), inpatient units (9.6%), and psychiatry/mental health departments (9.4%). More than half of hospitals were not considering implementing CDC's recommendations within the next 12 months.


Since 2004, HIV screening in hospitals increased overall and by department. However, the majority of U.S. hospitals have not adopted the CDC recommendations.

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