This paper reports the initial operational outcomes of an emergency department-based HIV testing program in a high-prevalence and resource-limited setting by describing (1) the number and percentage of patients approached, tested, and found to be HIV positive and (2) the linkage of care to the HIV clinic. A retrospective log and chart review of the initial 5 months (January 2006 to April 2006) of the HIV testing program was performed. Patients were selected for HIV testing by routine screening and by provider initiated referrals. Out of the 1371 patients who were approached for HIV testing, 1339 (97.7%) patients were tested for HIV. Three hundred twelve (22.7%) of the patients tested were HIV positive. Within a sample group of patients newly diagnosed with HIV in the department, 82% were compliant with their initial HIV clinic visit and 65% were compliant with a 1-month follow-up visit. The implementation of an emergency department-based HIV testing program in a high HIV prevalence and resource poor country is feasible with a high percentage of patients accepting HIV testing and a high percentage of positive patients presenting to follow-up care. Establishment of rapid HIV testing in emergency departments can identify significant numbers of HIV-positive patients who would otherwise remain undiagnosed and provides an education opportunity for those patients who are HIV negative.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases