Objective: To test a model designed to increase willingness of patients presenting to the emergency department off hours to be tested for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) by using a pretest counseling video as a substitute for face-to-face counseling.
Methods: We conducted a randomized controlled trial comparing the rate of testing in patients randomized to receive video counseling with immediate testing (video group) versus standard care, which was referral to counseling and testing the next day (standard referral group).
Results: Fifty percent of 805 eligible patients consented to participate in the study, indicating willingness to be tested. The HIV testing rate was higher in the video group 92.6% (187 of 202) than in the standard referral group 4.5% (9 of 202) (difference = 88.1%, 95% confidence interval: 83.5%–92.7%). Thirty percent of 187 patients in the video group who were tested returned for their results; 8 of 9 patients in standard care returned to be tested and to get their results.
Conclusion: Half of the patients who were solicited for HIV testing agreed to be tested. When testing was immediate the patient was more likely to have the test completed.