The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued HIV testing recommendations, encouraging physicians to routinely test all adult patients for HIV. Studies have found that not all physicians are abiding by these guidelines, but that physician recommendations for HIV testing could encourage patients to get tested. Our study sought to determine physician preferences for a physician-targeted campaign to encourage them to offer HIV tests to their patients. The study took place across 19 publicly-funded community health centers. A web-based survey was sent to primary care physicians, assessing their preferences for physician-targeted HIV testing campaign elements. Response frequencies were calculated for each element. 175 physicians participated. Campaign elements were divided into "HIV Testing Information," "Communication Tools," and "Promotion Strategies." Physicians selected receiving a copy of the latest HIV testing recommendations, having patients ask for the HIV test, and receiving an EMR alert for HIV testing as their top elements for each category, respectively. An effective physician HIV testing campaign should include information about HIV testing recommendations, proof of patient receptiveness to HIV testing, and strategies to prompt HIV testing conversations. A multi-faceted approach combining patient and physician prompts to discuss HIV testing might be the most effective method to improve HIV testing rates.
Keywords: HIV; HIV testing; campaigns; communication; physicians.
© The Author(s) 2016.