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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 7(4)

HIV results by phone: can we predict who will test HIV-negative?

Simon Wright A C, Nathan Ryder A B, Anna M. McNulty A B

A Sydney Sexual Health Centre, Sydney Hospital, GPO Box 1614, Sydney, NSW 2001, Australia.
B School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW 2031, Australia.
C Corresponding author. Email: simon.wright@sesiahs.health.nsw.gov.au
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Introduction: In order to review the requirement for all patients to return for HIV test results, we sought to describe the number of cases of HIV infection detected at Sydney Sexual Health Centre among people who did not disclose known risk factors before testing. Method: The clinic database identified all HIV testing episodes between January 2004 and January 2007, along with gender, gender of sexual partners and test result. Pro-forma medical records were reviewed for each person who tested positive for gender of sexual partners, condom use, and sexual contact with a person from a country known to have a high HIV prevalence and injecting drug use. Results: During the 3-year period, a total of 13 290 HIV tests were performed. In men who have sex with men, 6194 tests were performed and 55 (0.88%) tested positive. In women and heterosexual men 7096 tests were performed, and only four (0.06%) tested positive. All four reported known risks for HIV before testing. Conclusion: Clients with no recognised risk factors for HIV are unlikely to test positive at our Australian sexual health clinic. Providing the option for low risk people to obtain their results other than face to face has advantages for both the clinic in terms of service provision and the clients in terms of time and the proportion who receive their result.

Keywords: low risk, telephone.

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