Author(s): Merchant RC, Catanzaro BM
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: The aims of the study were to (1) estimate the incidence rates (IRs) of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing among 13-year-old to 64-year-old patients in US emergency departments (EDs); (2) determine ED compliance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for HIV testing for patients with nonsexual blood or body fluid exposures, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and sexual assaults; and (3) ascertain if HIV testing in EDs varies by patient demographic characteristics. METHODS: The ED visits from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey databases (1993-2004) were analyzed. Visits for nonsexual blood or body fluid exposures, STDs, and sexual assaults were identified using diagnosis and cause codes. Incidence rates for HIV testing were estimated by year. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95\% confidence intervals were estimated from multivariable logistic regression models using HIV testing as the outcome and demographic characteristics as covariates. RESULTS: The average IR of HIV testing for 13-year-old to 64-year-old patients from 1993 to 2004 was 0.31\%. Of all patients, 35.1\% with nonsexual blood or body fluid exposures, 20.4\% with sexual assaults, and 2.6\% with STDs were tested for HIV. The HIV testing was more frequent among Hispanics (OR, 1.39 [1.06-1.81]), blacks (OR, 1.52 [1.19-1.94]), patients with Medicaid (OR, 2.35 [1.81-3.03]), Medicare (OR, 1.95 [1.20-3.16]), and self-pay/no charge/other type of insurance (OR, 1.74 [1.35-2.23]), and those visiting EDs in the northeastern United States (OR, 1.57 [1.04-2.38]). CONCLUSIONS: The HIV testing rates are low in US EDs and have changed little for a 12-year period. Compliance with CDC recommendations for HIV testing is poor and not in accordance with risk for infection. Hispanics, blacks, and those without private health care insurance are being tested more frequently than other ED patients.
This article was published in Am J Emerg Med
and referenced in Health Care : Current Reviews