Ethics. Research. Community.

Failure to return for HIV posttest counseling in an STD clinic population.

AIDS education and prevention : official publication of the International Society for AIDS Education. 
[Record Source: PubMed]
This study assessed the extent of and characteristics associated with FTR for HIV posttest counseling in persons undergoing an HIV test during their visit to a sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic. The study population included all 101 newly diagnosed HIV-infected subjects and 411 matched HIV-uninfected subjects, identified over a 5-year period in a publicly funded STD clinic in the southeastern United States. Overall, 55% of subjects failed to return for their test results. HIV testing history, demographic characteristics, and STD diagnosis were associated with FTR. Of clients testing HIV-positive, 58% failed to return. A median of 12 days was required for disease intervention specialists (DIS) to locate HIV-infected subjects who failed to return. The proportion of persons returning for HIV antibody test results is low among patients tested while seeking STD services. Considerable time and effort is required to find and notify those subjects testing HIV-positive who fail to return. To maximize the potential benefit of counseling and testing, interventions need to be designed to target those at highest risk of not returning.
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