Linking patients who test positive for HIV in an emergency department (ED) setting to HIV care can be challenging. The aim of this study was to assess whether a multimedia HIV testing model utilized in an inner-city ED can effectively link HIV-positive individuals into specialized medical care. A prospective cohort study was performed from October 2005 to January 2009 at an urban academic hospital with a Level 1 trauma center and in-house specialized HIV clinic. Patients were HIV tested in the ED using a multimedia video counseling program which included computer-assisted data collection. Patients who tested positive were linked to care by the same counselor who gave the test result. Linkage was immediate for discharged patients during clinic hours and patients tested during off-hours were scheduled a visit on the next business day. All follow-up was conducted through chart review. The public health advocates (PHAs) tested 24,495 patients over the course of the study, of whom 116 (0.47%) were HIV positive and 93 were newly diagnosed. A total of 83.6% (97/116) of HIV-positive individuals were linked into specialized care, defined here as an outpatient clinic visit within 30 days of diagnosis in the ED. The findings suggest that a multimedia testing model that includes a counselor who acts as tester and navigator can successfully link a high percentage of patients into specialized care
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.