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Study finds youth prefer and benefit more from rapid point-of-care HIV testing
Date:11/19/2013

hose who are positive."

Fewer than 32 per cent of youth are tested for HIV and a reported 60 per cent of HIV positive youth didn't know their status, American data shows.

Rapid POC HIV testing is only offered at about 50 locations in community clinics in Ontario despite the positive findings and potential benefits. Expanding the test into primary and emergency departments could increase acceptance rates, with between 83 and 93 per cent of youth accepting rapid HIV POC testing in an emergency department setting, the review found.

"Not being offered HIV testing directly was also identified as a barrier with youth," said Dr. Turner. "Point-of-contact HIV testing must become routine and be offered in all patient environments, from emergency departments to community programs."

Acceptance rates for HIV testing increase when POC testing is offered directly and when offered alongside traditional testing, the study showed.

"In an era of patient-centred care, reducing wait-times for results and offering less invasive HIV testing options should be considered to improve patient acceptance and reduce failure-to-notify, especially with such high positive HIV rates in youth," said Dr. Turner.

The specific POC test preference among youth was observed across a diverse range of racial, gender, sexual orientation, cultural, geographic and socio-economic populations in a variety of health care settings.

Dr. Turner states that more research must be done on youth, HIV and POC testing to determine specific trends in particular populations and create youth-targeted testing programs.


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Contact: Geoff Koehler
koehlerg@smh.ca
416-864-6060 x6537
St. Michael's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert  

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