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Prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus risk factors in patients attending an accident and emergency department.
  1. M Doyle,
  2. R J Taylor
  1. Accident and Emergency Department, Hope Hospital, Salford.


    The prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) risk factors was evaluated by questionnaire survey in 1565 consecutive patients who attended an adult A&E department in Brisbane over a 2-month period. The survey revealed that a total of 144 (9.2%) patients could be considered at risk of HIV infection (high-risk group) because of known seropositivity, admission to HIV high-risk factors or engaging in high-risk activities. The remaining 1421 patients who did not acknowledge any high-risk behaviour were classified as an 'unknown-risk' group. More than 70% of the HIV high-risk patient group were under the age of 30 years. A total of 275 (17.6%) patients presented with open wounds and/or needed hospitalization (23 [1.5%] high-risk patients). Of the 490 respondents who engaged in short term sexual relationships, 310 (63.3%) practised unprotected coitus, 32 of these including four seropositives were classified in the high-risk group. The patients were asked if they were in favour of an HIV testing service at their local A&E department; 1324 (86.6%) were in agreement 121 of whom were in the high-risk group. There was no significant difference (chi 2 = 0.093: P greater than 0.7) in opinion between the 'unknown risk' and high-risk patient groups on this matter.

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