Unrecognized HIV infection among patients attending sexually transmitted disease clinics

Am J Public Health. 2002 Feb;92(2):280-3. doi: 10.2105/ajph.92.2.280.


Objectives: This study examined voluntary HIV testing rates in sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics.

Methods: Anonymous, unlinked surveys of HIV seroprevalence and medical chart abstractions were conducted in 28 STD clinics in 14 US cities in 1997.

Results: Among the 52 260 patients included in the anonymous HIV serosurveys, voluntary HIV testing rates by clinic ranged from 30% to 99% (median = 58%). Patients not tested were more likely to be HIV infected than were patients who were tested, even after those with documented HIV infection were excluded, regardless of demographic characteristics, risk group, or STD diagnosis.

Conclusions: HIV infection is unrecognized in substantial numbers of patients with HIV infection visiting STD clinics. Efforts are needed to increase HIV testing and counseling of all patients visiting these clinics.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Serodiagnosis / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities*
  • Comorbidity
  • Counseling / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • HIV Seroprevalence
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology