Provider and Practice Characteristics Associated with Use of Rapid HIV Testing by General Internists
Hospital-based clinics and community health centers are using rapid HIV testing; at practices that use rapid testing, internists report low barriers to HIV testing overall.
Rapid HIV testing produces results in only minutes; however, until now the public health community has not been tracking the adoption of rapid testing by primary care providers.
This survey analysis quantified responses to a 2009 survey of members of the Society of General Internal Medicine; the Society’s HIV/AIDS Task Force investigated routine HIV screening performed by general internists. The survey asked internists what types of HIV testing were available at their practices; the survey’s key measures included the demographics of internists themselves, data about their practices, and barriers to HIV testing. This article presents the results of bivarate analyses and multivariate regression.
- Three barriers to HIV testing appeared less frequently when internists had access to rapid testing.
- Forty-three percent of internists responded that their practice’s inability to rapid test held down overall HIV testing rates.
- Overall, HIV testing is low on the list of most practice’s testing priorities; however, practices that emphasize HIV testing will be more likely to rapid test; such practices were almost 50 percent more likely to have HIV tested at least 1 in 4 patients.
Recent evidence has shown dramatic increases in HIV testing when rapid testing has become available. This analysis of survey responses found that access to rapid testing suggests a more amenable HIV testing environment; the test is most common in settings that serve minorities and uninsured populations.