December 20, 2011
Residents of the Deep South, especially African Americans, continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. The current report describes an Emergency Department (ED)-based HIV screening program in the Deep South using CDC's 2006 recommendations for rapid testing and opt-out consent.
From May 2008 to March 2010, patients presenting for medical care in the ED -- from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday -- were offered HIV screening. Those eligible for screening were patients age 18 or older who had no previous history of HIV tests, were English-speaking, and were not incarcerated, medically unstable or otherwise able to decline testing.
The OraQuick rapid HIV 1/2 antibody test was used to screen all patients. Patients whose results were nonreactive were referred to anonymous testing sites in the community for further testing. Patients whose tests were reactive had confirmatory Western blot and CD4 counts drawn and were brought back to the ED for disclosure of the results. All the patients who were confirmed HIV-positive via reactive Western blot were referred to the hospital-based infectious disease clinic or the county health department.
Journal of Urban Health
12.2011; Vol. 88; No. 6: P. 1015-1019; Matthew A. Wheatley; and others
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