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Study shows missed opportunities for HIV diagnosis in emergency departments
Date:7/29/2011

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"Many, but not all, encounters included at least one indication for HIV testing. This suggests that only universal screening will identify all undiagnosed patientsbut when that's not feasible, physicians can improve overall detection by testing patients who they recognize as having increased risk of infection. All EDs should be capable of HIV testing in these instances."

A related study by Lindsell, also in the CDC supplement, described a method for hospitals to estimate the number of patients with undiagnosed HIV that visit their ED. "We know that not all EDs see the same number of undiagnosed patients. With this tool, an ED can estimate their need for screening before investing significant resources to increase testing," says Lindsell.

Several other UC studies, led by emergency medicine and infectious diseases researchers, are also included in the supplement, all designed to better understand how to expand HIV testing and prevention in emergency department settings.

"With this research, the academic emergency medicine community is helping to interpret and implement the CDC's recommendations for routine screening in health care settings," says Lyons. "Altogether there has been a lot of progress; there are still many challenges to expanding HIV testing. We're trying to provide a road map to show where and how limited testing resources are best allocated and trying to motivate screening uptake by emergency physicians."

One UC study, led by former emergency medicine resident Nathan Hudepohl, MD, measured the number of patient visits and HIV tests in the UC Health University Hospital ED from 2003 through 2008.

They found that although the HIV testing program provided testing during fewer than 2 percent of ED visits each year, the number of ED patients who had been tested by the program eventually grew to 6.9 percent.

"In just five years of testing, we increased the proportion of ED patients known to have been
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Contact: Katy Cosse
kathryn.cosse@uc.edu
513-558-0207
University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Source:Eurekalert

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