HIV screening in the dental setting in New York State

PLoS One. 2020 Apr 16;15(4):e0231638. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0231638. eCollection 2020.


While primary care providers in New York State (NYS) are mandated to offer all patients a HIV test, still many NYS residents miss the HIV screening opportunity. To fill the gap, and as the CDC recommends, this study aimed to examine the feasibility of implementing HIV screening in dental setting, identify patient characteristics associated with acceptance of HIV rapid testing, and discuss best practices of HIV screening in dental setting. New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) collaborated with the Northeast/Caribbean AIDS Education and Training Center (NECA AETC) and three dental schools in New York State to offer free HIV screening tests as a component of routine dental care between February 2016 and March 2018. Ten clinics in upstate New York and Long Island participated in the study. HIV screening was performed using the OraQuick™ In-Home HIV Test. 14,887 dental patients were offered HIV screening tests; 9,057 (60.8%) were screened; and one patient (0.011%) was confirmed HIV positive and linked to medical care. Of all dental patients, 33% had never been screened for HIV; and 56% had not had a primary care visit or had not been offered an HIV screening test by primary care providers in the previous 12 months. Multi-level generalized linear modeling analysis indicated that test acceptance was significantly associated with patient's age, race/ethnicity, gender, country of origin, primary payer (or insurance), past primary care visits, past HIV testing experiences, and the poverty level of patient's community. HIV screening is well accepted by dental patients and can be effectively integrated into routine dental care. HIV screening in the dental setting can be a good option for first-time testers, those who have not seen a primary care provider in the last 12 months, and those who have not been offered HIV screening at their last primary care visit.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Young Adult

Grant support

The HIV Screening in the Dental Chair ETE Demonstration Project was funded by the New York State Department of Health (C30955GG awarded to S.N.A. and M.N.H.; C30956GG awarded to Y.R.; C30957GG awarded to J.S. and C.S.). The contents of this paper are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the New York State Department of Health. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.