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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

AUSTRALIA: Providing HIV-Negative Results to Low-Risk Clients by Telephone


Sexual Health Vol. 9; No. 2: P. 160-165 (04..12) - Thursday,

Health department policies in Australia differ in their recommendations regarding giving patients their HIV test results. Traditionally, all HIV results have been provided in person. The team undertook the current study to trial the provision of HIV-negative test results by telephone to clients at low risk of infection who visited sexual health services, and to assess patients' preferences for method of delivery.

At two Sydney sexual health services during four months in 2009, all patients assessed as being at low risk for infection were invited to receive their HIV test result by phone. Not receiving results was defined as the failure to learn the results within 30 days of testing.

In all, 763 clients were tested: 328 (43 percent) were excluded following risk assessment; 30 (4 percent) declined to take part; and 405 (53 percent) were enrolled. Among those enrolled, 86 percent learned their test result by phone within 30 days; 97 percent reported satisfaction with delivery of the result by phone; and 93 percent indicated a preference for telephone delivery of their next HIV test result. The test result was positive for only one enrolled client. Independent predictors for receiving results within 30 days were clinic attendance for STI screening (P=0.021), no anogenital symptoms (P=0.015), and not being a sex worker (P=0.001).

"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," the authors concluded. "There was a decreased rate of failure to receive HIV results compared with other Australian studies."


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Information in this article was accurate in April 26, 2012. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.