Two Novel Screening Programs Improve HIV Care — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
June 27, 2014

Two Novel Screening Programs Improve HIV Care

By Cara Adler

Edited by André Sofair, MD, MPH, and William E. Chavey, MD, MS

Novel routine HIV screening programs at two urban health centers increased the number of patients screened, identified previously undiagnosed infection, and linked patients to care, according to an MMWR report.

At a New York City site, 8% of patients were tested in 2010 (before the program) versus 56% in 2011–2013 (during the program). The proportion of positive tests that were new diagnoses increased from 16% to 29%. Most (81%) of 148 patients who tested positive during the program were subsequently linked to medical care, whereas none had been receiving medical care previously.

Findings were similar at a New Orleans site. Notably, 5 of 77 patients newly diagnosed there had acute, antibody-negative infections.

Key features of the programs included testing prompts via electronic health records and provider training with feedback.

In other HIV news, the CDC has issued updated guidelines for HIV lab testing. Among the changes, the Western blot and indirect immunofluorescence assays are no longer recommended for diagnosis of HIV-1. Testing now begins with a combination immunoassay that detects both antigen and antibodies. The full guidelines are available at the link below.

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liabeth burke Other Healthcare Professional, Pediatric Subspecialty, TEMPLE


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