ABSTRACT: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends routine (nontargeted) opt-out HIV screening in health care settings, including emergency departments (EDs), where the prevalence of undiagnosed infection is 0.1% or greater. The utility of this approach in EDs remains unknown.
To determine whether nontargeted opt-out rapid HIV screening in the ED was associated with identification of more patients with newly diagnosed HIV infection than physician-directed diagnostic rapid HIV testing.
Quasi-experimental equivalent time-samples design in an urban public safety-net hospital with an approximate annual ED census of 55,000 patient visits. Patients were 16 years or older and capable of providing consent for rapid HIV testing.
Nontargeted opt-out rapid HIV screening and physician-directed diagnostic rapid HIV testing alternated in sequential 4-month time intervals between April 15, 2007, and April 15, 2009.
Number of patients with newly identified HIV infection and the association between nontargeted opt-out rapid HIV screening and identification of HIV infection.
In the opt-out phase, of 28,043 eligible ED patients, 6933 patients (25%) completed HIV testing (6702 patients were screened; 231 patients were diagnostically tested). Ten of 6702 patients (0.15%; 95% CI, 0.07%-0.27%) who did not decline HIV screening in the opt-out phase had new HIV diagnoses, and 5 of 231 patients (2.2%; 95% CI, 0.7%-5.0%) who were diagnostically tested during the opt-out phase had new HIV diagnoses. In the diagnostic phase, of 29,925 eligible patients, 243 (0.8%) completed HIV testing. Of these, 4 patients (1.6%; 95% CI, 0.5%-4.2%) had new diagnoses. The prevalence of new HIV diagnoses in the opt-out phase (including those diagnostically tested) and in the diagnostic phase was 15 in 28,043 (0.05%; 95% CI, 0.03%-0.09%) and 4 in 29,925 (0.01%; 95% CI, 0.004%-0.03%), respectively. Nontargeted opt-out HIV screening was independently associated with new HIV diagnoses (risk ratio, 3.6; 95% CI, 1.2-10.8) when adjusting for patient demographics, insurance status, and whether diagnostic testing was performed in the opt-out phase. The median CD4 cell count for those with new HIV diagnoses in the opt-out phase (including those diagnostically tested) and in the diagnostic phase was 69/microL (IQR, 17-430) and 13/microL (IQR, 11-15) , respectively (P = .02).
Nontargeted opt-out rapid HIV screening in the ED, vs diagnostic testing, was associated with identification of a modestly increased number of patients with new HIV diagnoses, most of whom were identified late in the course of disease.
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 07/2010; 304(3):284-92. · 30.03 Impact Factor