Provider and practice characteristics associated with use of rapid HIV Testing by general internists

Bass, Michael; Korthuis, P.; Cofrancesco, Joseph; Berkenblit, Gail; Sullivan, Lynn; Asch, Steve; Bashook, Philip; Edison, Marcia; Sosman, James; Cook, Robert; Bass, Michael G; Korthuis, P Todd; Cofrancesco, Joseph Jr; Berkenblit, Gail V; Sullivan, Lynn E; Asch, Steve M; Bashook, Philip G; Sosman, James M; Cook, Robert L
November 2011
JGIM: Journal of General Internal Medicine;Nov2011, Vol. 26 Issue 11, p1258
Academic Journal
journal article
Background: Rapid HIV testing could increase routine HIV testing. Most previous studies of rapid testing were conducted in acute care settings, and few described the primary care providers' perspective.Objective: To identify characteristics of general internal medicine physicians with access to rapid HIV testing, and to determine whether such access is associated with differences in HIV-testing practices or perceived HIV-testing barriers.Design: Web-based cross-sectional survey conducted in 2009.Participants: A total of 406 physician members of the Society of General Internal Medicine who supervise residents or provide care in outpatient settings.Main Measures: Surveys assessed provider and practice characteristics, HIV-testing types, HIV-testing behavior, and potential barriers to HIV testing.Results: Among respondents, 15% had access to rapid HIV testing. In multivariable analysis, physicians were more likely to report access to rapid testing if they were non-white (OR 0.45, 95% CI 0.22, 0.91), had more years since completing training (OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.02, 1.10), practiced in the northeastern US (OR 2.35; 95% CI 1.28, 4.32), or their practice included a higher percentage of uninsured patients (OR 1.03; 95% CI 1.01, 1.04). Internists with access to rapid testing reported fewer barriers to HIV testing. More respondents with rapid than standard testing reported at least 25% of their patients received HIV testing (51% versus 35%, p = 0.02). However, access to rapid HIV testing was not significantly associated with the estimated proportion of patients receiving HIV testing within the previous 30 days (7.24% vs. 4.58%, p = 0.06).Conclusion: Relatively few internists have access to rapid HIV testing in outpatient settings, with greater availability of rapid testing in community-based clinics and in the northeastern US. Future research may determine whether access to rapid testing in primary care settings will impact routinizing HIV testing.


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