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Implementation of a rapid HIV testing programme favourably impacts provider opinions on emergency department HIV testing
  1. Elissa M Schechter-Perkins,
  2. Julia E Rubin-Smith,
  3. Patricia M Mitchell
  1. Department of Emergency Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Elissa Schechter-Perkins, Department of Emergency Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, 1 Boston Medical Center Place, Dowling 1 South, Boston, MA 02118, USA; elissa.perkins{at}gmail.com

Abstract

Objective To assess staff knowledge of Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, attitudes and barriers towards emergency department (ED) HIV testing before and after implementing an ED rapid HIV testing programme (EDRHTP).

Methods We conducted a cross-sectional pre/post survey at an urban academic medical centre. In March 2009, ED registered nurses (RNs) and doctors (MDs) participated in an anonymous survey. An EDRHTP was established in September 2009, and in March 2011, the survey was redistributed to ED staff. Differences before and after programme implementation were assessed using χ2 statistics or Fisher's exact test.

Results Respondents reported greater familiarity with CDC guidelines after programme implementation (44% vs 59%, p=0.04) and more believed that HIV testing should be offered to all ED patients (44% vs 79%, p<0.0001). Prior to programme implementation, RNs and MDs differed in attitudes towards ED HIV testing across most questions, and differences disappeared post programme.

Conclusions Overall support for ED HIV testing increased after establishment of a rapid testing programme.

  • HIV
  • infectious diseases, HIV

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