A survey of a small sample of emergency department and admitted patients asking whether they expect to be tested for HIV routinely

J Int Assoc Provid AIDS Care. 2013 Jul-Aug;12(4):247-52. doi: 10.1177/2325957413488197. Epub 2013 Jun 4.


Objectives: Many US HIV-positive patients are unaware of their infection. Although there are multiple studies assessing the acceptance of testing, there are none that assess the patient's expectations of routine HIV testing.

Methods: Through a prospective, cross-sectional, unfunded, convenience sample survey, we assessed the patient's expectation of testing at a regional medical center serving an indigent population. Also, we compared the providers' predictions of the proportion of patients expecting a test.

Results: Of the 69 patients, 23% expected a test. The only factor that correlated with this was their desire to be tested (P = .004). Providers' (N = 59) mean prediction was that 21% of the patients expected a test (range: 0%-100%). The proportion of emergency department (ED) patients wanting a test was 52% (of 30) and internal medicine inpatients were 44% (of 39).

Conclusions: Nearly a quarter of patients expected routine HIV testing. This finding should encourage a review of policies promoting HIV testing, especially within the ED.

Keywords: Emergency Department; HIV prevention; HIV test; HIV transmission.

MeSH terms

  • California
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sampling Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires