Provider and practice characteristics associated with use of rapid HIV Testing by general internists

J Gen Intern Med. 2011 Nov;26(11):1258-64. doi: 10.1007/s11606-011-1764-z. Epub 2011 Jun 28.

Abstract

Background: Rapid HIV testing could increase routine HIV testing. Most previous studies of rapid testing were conducted in acute care settings, and few described the primary care providers' perspective.

Objective: To identify characteristics of general internal medicine physicians with access to rapid HIV testing, and to determine whether such access is associated with differences in HIV-testing practices or perceived HIV-testing barriers.

Design: Web-based cross-sectional survey conducted in 2009.

Participants: A total of 406 physician members of the Society of General Internal Medicine who supervise residents or provide care in outpatient settings.

Main measures: Surveys assessed provider and practice characteristics, HIV-testing types, HIV-testing behavior, and potential barriers to HIV testing.

Results: Among respondents, 15% had access to rapid HIV testing. In multivariable analysis, physicians were more likely to report access to rapid testing if they were non-white (OR 0.45, 95% CI 0.22, 0.91), had more years since completing training (OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.02, 1.10), practiced in the northeastern US (OR 2.35; 95% CI 1.28, 4.32), or their practice included a higher percentage of uninsured patients (OR 1.03; 95% CI 1.01, 1.04). Internists with access to rapid testing reported fewer barriers to HIV testing. More respondents with rapid than standard testing reported at least 25% of their patients received HIV testing (51% versus 35%, p = 0.02). However, access to rapid HIV testing was not significantly associated with the estimated proportion of patients receiving HIV testing within the previous 30 days (7.24% vs. 4.58%, p = 0.06).

Conclusion: Relatively few internists have access to rapid HIV testing in outpatient settings, with greater availability of rapid testing in community-based clinics and in the northeastern US. Future research may determine whether access to rapid testing in primary care settings will impact routinizing HIV testing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine / statistics & numerical data*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pilot Projects
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Time Factors
  • United States