July 29, 2010
An integral component of the HIV testing process is ensuring that patients receive post-test discussion when learning their results. New South Wales Health Department (NSW Health) policy recommends in-person results for all patients undergoing HIV testing. The study authors assessed the number of patients who returned for HIV test results to the Royal Prince Alfred Sexual Health Clinic in Sydney and predictors of return.
The files of 218 patients having consecutive HIV tests from Jan. 1 to April 30, 2007, were manually reviewed. Patients who did not provide consent and those returning to the clinic for another reason were excluded. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine factors associated with return for in-person HIV results within four weeks of testing.
During the four-week period, 72 of 159 patients (45 percent) returned for their HIV result. Independent predictors of return were male gender (P=0.041), attending the outreach men-only (vs. base) clinic (P=0.017), first HIV test at the clinic (P=0.002), and sex abroad in the previous year (P=0.048).
More than half of patients did not collect their HIV results in person and thus did not receive any post-test counseling, the authors said, noting that the strongest predictor of return for test results was having a first HIV test at the clinic. "Current NSW Health policy is failing to achieve high levels of HIV post-test discussion," they concluded. "For many patients, giving results by telephone may be a more appropriate strategy to ensure HIV post-test discussion."
02.2010; Vol. 7; No. 1: P. 8-10; Loretta M. Healey, Catherine C. O'Connor, David J. Templeton
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