Background: Despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for annual HIV testing of at-risk populations, including those with substance use disorders, there are no data on the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing practices of buprenorphine-prescribing physicians.
Objective: To describe HIV testing practices among buprenorphine-prescribing physicians.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of physicians enrolled in a national system to support buprenorphine prescribing between July and August 2008. The electronic survey included questions on demographics; clinical training and experience; clinical practice; patient characteristics; and physician screening practices, including HIV testing.
Results: Only 46% of 382 respondent physicians conducted HIV testing. On univariate analysis, physicians who conducted HIV testing were more likely to report addiction specialty training (33% vs 19%, P = 0.001), practicing in addiction settings (28% vs 16%, P = 0.006), and having treated more than 50 patients with buprenorphine (50% vs 31%, P < 0.0001) than those who did not. Compared with physicians who did not conduct HIV testing, physicians who conducted HIV testing had a lower proportion of buprenorphine patients who were white (75% vs 82%, P = 0.01) or dependent upon prescription opioids (57% vs 70%, P < 0.0001). In multivariate analysis, physicians who conducted HIV testing were more likely to have treated more than 50 patients with buprenorphine (odds ratio = 1.777, 95% CI 1.011-3.124) and had fewer patients dependent upon prescription opioids (odds ratio = 0.986 95% CI 0.975-0.998) than physicians who did not.
Conclusions: Interventions to increase HIV testing among physicians prescribing buprenorphine are needed.