A provider participatory implementation model for HIV testing in an ED.
OBJECTIVES To evaluate opportunities for earlier human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) diagnosis within a comprehensive public health care system. STUDY DESIGN Retrospective review of newly diagnosed HIV-infected patients between September 2001 and December 2003. RESULTS One hundred twenty of 348 (34%) newly diagnosed HIV-infected patients had medical care within our system in the 3 years before diagnosis. One hundred five of 120 (88%) patients had at least 1 prior encounter in the emergency department or urgent care center, whereas just 12 (10%) HIV diagnoses were made in these 2 sites. Only 33 (28%) patients previously presented with an HIV clinical indicator condition or sexually transmitted infection. CONCLUSIONS Although one-third of newly diagnosed HIV-infected patients had clinical visits in the 3 years before diagnosis, few presented with clinical conditions typically associated with HIV infection. Targeted testing based on clinical presentations is not likely to result in substantially earlier HIV diagnosis. Routine screening in high prevalence settings could be more effective.