alexa Rapid Routine HIV Testing for Psychiatric Inpatients
ISSN 2155-6113

Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research
Open Access

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Research Article

Rapid Routine HIV Testing for Psychiatric Inpatients

Maryann J. Popiel1, Vikram Duvvi1, Albert Turkieh1, Ethan Cowan2, Yvette Calderon2*, Christian Umfrid1, Kelly M. Chacón2, Julia Krauss2, Anuj Rao2, Jennifer Zahn1, Uttara Gadde1 and Jason Leider2

1Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, USA

2Jacobi Medical Center, Bronx, New York, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Yvette Calderon
3654 Waldo Avenue
Jacobi Medical Center
Bronx, Apt 1a, Bronx
New York 10463, USA
Tel: 917-301-4174; (718) 519-3113
Fax: (718) 519-500
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: February 05, 2015; Accepted date: March 03, 2016; Published date: March 12, 2016

Citation: Popiel MJ, Duvvi V, Turkieh A, Cowan E, Calderon Y, et al. (2016) Rapid Routine HIV Testing for Psychiatric Inpatients. J AIDS Clin Res 7:555. doi:10.4172/2155-6113.1000555

Copyright: © 2016 Popiel MJ, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that HIV screening be routine and offered in all healthcare settings, including all mental health care facilities. The psychiatric patient population is known to be at higher risk and have significantly higher prevalence of HIV infection than the general population, but remains inconsistently tested and often missed through screening efforts. The objective of this study was to implement and determine the efficacy of a counselor-based HIV screening program on inpatient psychiatric units, and to identify risk factors and barriers to testing within this population. Utilizing dedicated, trained Public Health Advocates, rapid HIV testing was offered to a convenience sample of psychiatric inpatients determined to have capacity to consent. Pre-test counseling was provided and demographic and risk factor data obtained from participants, while reasons for refusal were obtained from those who denied testing. Of consentable patients, 74.6% were offered testing and 62.9% of offers were accepted, resulting in 405 patients tested and one new HIV diagnosis. Amongst those who were tested, 26.4% were found to be high-risk, 33.1% had a history of drug use and 7.4% had a history of sex abuse, while 38% did not receive regular medical care and 22.2% had never been tested for HIV. The most common reason for patients rejecting testing was the belief that they were not at risk (44%). In sum, many psychiatric inpatients were high-risk for HIV infection but did not receive regular health care, and personal risk perception is the major barrier preventing patients from obtaining testing. Counselor-based rapid testing proved to be acceptable to psychiatric inpatients and an effective model for screening a large number of high-risk and underserved individuals with minimal added burden to the mental health care team.


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