Internal medicine and emergency medicine physicians lack accurate knowledge of current CDC HIV testing recommendations and infrequently offer HIV testing

J Int Assoc Physicians AIDS Care (Chic). 2012 Mar-Apr;11(2):101-8. doi: 10.1177/1545109711430165. Epub 2012 Feb 14.


Objectives: To evaluate the knowledge and attitudes of residents and attendings in emergency medicine (EM) and internal medicine (IM) about HIV.

Methods: An electronic anonymous 41-question survey of IM and EM physicians at the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center.

Results: The survey was completed by 232 physicians (71.6%). EM residents were more likely to routinely offer HIV testing compared to IM residents (60.7% vs. 27.8%, P = 0.0009). Overall, there was no difference in offering HIV testing by sex (32% vs. 35.6%) or by residents versus attendings (33.8% vs. 33.3%). Only 70 physicians (30.9%) were aware of current CDC recommendations of HIV screening with attendings more knowledgeable than residents (41.7% vs. 26%, P = 0.017).

Conclusion: EM and IM residents and attendings fail to offer HIV testing or assess for HIV transmission risk factors with sufficient frequency. There is also a gap in knowledge of the current CDC recommendations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine
  • Emergency Medicine / standards
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence*
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine / standards
  • Internship and Residency
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physicians / standards
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Young Adult