Effectiveness and feasibility study of routine HIV rapid testing in an urban methadone maintenance treatment program

Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2013 Jul;39(4):247-51. doi: 10.3109/00952990.2013.798662.


Background: Universal Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) testing and treatment are strategies to decrease AIDS-related morbidity and mortality and to reduce HIV transmission.

Objective: This study examined the feasibility and effectiveness of routine HIV rapid testing implemented in the largest New York City (NYC) Methadone Maintenance Treatment Program (MMTP).

Methods: A routine HIV rapid testing program performed by medical providers without pretest counseling or the provision of incentives was compared to HIV rapid testing done by referral to HIV counselors with pretest counseling and incentives over the prior 12 months.

Results: Routine HIV rapid testing proved feasible and effective when performed by the medical staff in the setting of a large urban MMTP. The program increased HIV testing in all genders, race/ethnicities, and ages. HIV-positive individuals were diagnosed and successfully linked to care. The elimination of HIV prevention counseling may have facilitated expanded testing.

Conclusion: This study confirms that routine HIV rapid testing without HIV-prevention counseling or the provision of incentives for patients is feasible on a large scale in a busy, urban methadone clinic.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities
  • Counseling
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Seropositivity / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Methadone / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Narcotic Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • New York City
  • Opiate Substitution Treatment*
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / drug therapy
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*


  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Methadone