Patterns of HIV testing in Scotland: a general practitioner perspective

Scott Med J. 1997 Aug;42(4):108-10. doi: 10.1177/003693309704200403.


General practitioners are one of the largest groups who offer HIV testing but little is known about the patient group who present for HIV counselling and testing in primary care. This study describes the risk factors, positivity rate, temporal trends and demographic profile of patients presenting to their general practitioner for HIV testing in central Scotland. Of 8,466 tests taken 1% (84%) were positive with an independent association between a positive result and age group, history of drug misuse, homosexuality and region of testing. The majority of tests were performed in those who were at low risk and because of patient concern about HIV. No increase in the number of positive tests was apparent over the five-year study period. Variations between GP testing for HIV occurs in different regions and may reflect the underlying HIV positivity rate. General practitioners performing HIV tests are well placed to educate their patients about HIV and encourage low risk sexual behaviour patterns.

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Serodiagnosis
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Family Practice / methods
  • Family Practice / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Seronegativity*
  • HIV Seropositivity / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Scotland / epidemiology
  • Sex Distribution