Normalizing HIV Testing in a Busy Urban Sexually Transmitted Infections Clinic

Brooks, Lesley MD*; Rietmeijer, Cornelis A. MD, PhD*†; McEwen, Dean MBA*; Subiadur, Julie A. RN*; Mettenbrink, Christie J. MSPH*

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: March 2009 - Volume 36 - Issue 3 - pp 127-128
doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0b013e318191701c
Articles

Background: Increased awareness of HIV serostatus is a cornerstone of HIV prevention efforts. Thus, routine HIV testing in clinical settings has been identified as a priority. We report on our experience with making rapid HIV testing a routine procedure in a large STI clinic.

Methods: A series of logistical changes were implemented to enhance HIV testing uptake, including introduction of rapid testing, changes in sequence of clinical procedures, and an opt-out consent process. The impact of these changes on HIV testing was measured by the ratio of HIV testing and syphilis RPR testing, with the latter defined as the gold standard of routine testing in an STI clinic setting.

Results: Over time and in relationship to the introduction of clinic changes, the HIV/RPR ratio increased from 0.79 at baseline to 0.96 after full implementation. Overall HIV positivity rates did not vary significantly over time.

Conclusion: After the introduction of several changes in clinic procedures, we experienced an increase HIV testing uptake relative to routine syphilis testing. In STI clinics, HIV testing can be made as normal as other routine STI testing.

In STI clinics, HIV testing can be made as normal as other routine STI testing.

From the *Denver Public Health Department and †Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado Denver, Colorado

Correspondence: Cornelis A. Rietmeijer, MD, PhD, Denver Public Health Department, 605 Bannock Street, Denver, CO 80204-4507. E-mail: krietmei@dhha.org.

Received for publication September 19, 2008, and accepted September 29, 2008.

© Copyright 2009 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association