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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

South Carolina: Researchers Examine HIV Screening During Physician and Emergency Department Visits

Researchers from the Department of Health Services Policy and Management and the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior at the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health have published a paper on the state of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) screening during physician and emergency department visits. Dr. Bankole Olatosi, clinical associate professor in health services policy and management, served as lead author on the paper, “Towards ending the human immunodeficiency virus epidemic in the US: State of human immunodeficiency virus screening during physician and emergency department visits, 2009 to 2014,” which was published in Medicine.

“Routine HIV testing is important for prevention and treatment and is recommended by the CDC for individuals aged 13 to 64 years in all health care settings,” says Dr. Olatosi. “Ending the HIV epidemic is unattainable if significant proportions of people living with HIV remain undiagnosed, making HIV testing critical for prevention and treatment.”

With this study, the researchers estimated the extent to which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations were followed during physician and emergency department visits that took place between 2009 and 2014 (after the recommendations were issued in 2006). Using data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, they assessed routine HIV trends and predictive factors in these two settings.

The authors found that HIV testing rates in physician offices increased by 105 percent over the study period while HIV test rates in emergency departments increased by 191 percent. The likelihood of testing in physician offices were highest among patients who were ages 20 to 29, male, African American, Hispanic, and living in the South. Testing in emergency departments was more likely among African Americans, Hispanics, and those who lived in the Northeast.

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