Comparison of HIV-antibody prevalence in patients consenting to and declining HIV-antibody testing in an STD clinic

JAMA. 1988 Aug 19;260(7):935-8.

Abstract

All patients attending a sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic were offered voluntary, anonymous human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-antibody testing and counseling as part of routine clinical evaluation. During a three-month evaluation period, 82% of patients accepted HIV testing. Testing was accepted equally by men and women and by heterosexual and homosexual men. Black men were more likely to refuse testing than men from other ethnic groups. Eight (0.7%) of 1146 STD clinic patients tested were infected with HIV. A blinded study of 237 patients who refused testing identified nine (3.8%) additional HIV-infected patients. Men who refused testing were 5.3 times more likely to be infected than men who accepted testing. Male homosexuals and black and Hispanic men who refused testing were 7.3 and 8.8 times, respectively, more likely to be infected with HIV than were their counterparts who accepted testing. Human immunodeficiency virus testing and counseling should be routinely offered to STD clinic patients. Male STD clinic patients, especially homosexual or minority men, who refuse voluntary HIV testing should be counseled regarding reducing their risk for HIV transmission.

KIE: Results of voluntary, anonymous human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibody testing and counseling offered to all patients attending a sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic showed that men who refused testing were 5.3 times more likely to be infected than men who accepted testing, and that male homosexuals and black and Hispanic men who refused testing were even more likely to be infected than their counterparts who accepted testing. The prevalence of HIV infection in persons refusing HIV testing was determined in a retrospective, blinded study using stored serum specimens originally drawn for syphilis testing. It is recommended that HIV testing and counseling should be routinely offered to STD clinic patients; male STD clinic patients who refuse voluntary HIV testing should be counseled about reducing their risk for HIV transmission.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / transmission
  • African Americans
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities
  • Counseling
  • Female
  • HIV Seropositivity / epidemiology*
  • HIV Seropositivity / ethnology
  • Homosexuality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minority Groups
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / therapy
  • Voluntary Programs