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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 9(2)

Providing HIV-negative results to low-risk clients by telephone

Damian P. Conway A E , Loretta M. Healey B , Evert Rauwendaal C , David J. Templeton A B and Stephen C. Davies D

A The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.
B Royal Prince Alfred Sexual Health Clinic, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Lucas Street, Camperdown, NSW 2050, Australia.
C Alcohol and Drug Service, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia.
D North Shore Sexual Health Service, Royal North Shore Hospital, Herbert Street, St Leonards, NSW 2065, Australia.
E Corresponding author. Email: dconway@kirby.unsw.edu.au

Sexual Health 9(2) 160-165 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SH10159
Submitted: 10 December 2010  Accepted: 12 May 2011   Published: 3 October 2011

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Background: In Australia, Health Department policies differ on the recommended method of providing HIV results. Traditionally, all results have been provided in person. Our aim was to trial provision of HIV-negative test results by telephone to low-risk clients attending sexual health services and to assess clients’ preferences for delivery method. Methods: During 4 months in 2009 at two sexual health services in Sydney, all clients assessed as low-risk for HIV infection were invited to receive their HIV result by telephone. Non-receipt of results was defined as failure to receive results within 30 days of the test being performed. Results: Of 763 clients tested, 328 (43%) were excluded following risk assessment, 30 (4%) declined to participate and 405 (53%) were enrolled. Among enrolled clients, 86% received their HIV result by telephone within 30 days, 97% were satisfied with delivery of the result by telephone and 93% preferred telephone delivery for their next HIV result. Only one enrolled client returned a positive HIV result. Independent predictors of receiving results within the 30-day timeframe were clinic attendance for sexually transmissible infection screening (P = 0.021), lack of anogenital symptoms (P = 0.015) and not being a sex worker (P = 0.001). Conclusions: In this study of telephone provision of HIV results to low HIV-risk clients, there were no adverse events and clients expressed satisfaction with the process plus a strong preference for telephone delivery of future results. There was a decreased rate of failure to receive HIV results compared with other Australian studies.

Additional keywords: HIV testing, post-test discussion, sexual health services, telephone notification.


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