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HIV testing practices of Victorian GPs and selected specialists.
Stevenson EM; Thompson SC; Crofts N; Epidemiology and Social Research
December 30, 1996
Annu Conf Australas Soc HIV Med. 1995 Nov 16-19;7:128 (abstract no.

STUDY OBJECTIVES: To describe HIV testing practices of Victorian general practitioners (GPs) and selected specialists during 1994. METHODOLOGY: Questionnaires were mailed to a weighted random sample of 1085 Victorian donors including GPs, general surgeons, infectious disease (ID) physicians, obstetricians and gynaecologists (O&Gs), psychiatrists and venereologists. Responses were received from 630 doctors (58%) of whom 602 were practising in Victoria. RESULTS: GPs and venereologists were most likely, and O&Gs least likely, to have seen patients affected by HIV, however O&Gs performed more HIV tests per month than GPs. General surgeons and psychiatrists were least likely to order HIV tests for their patients. The mean number of HIV tests ordered per month varied from 20 (venereologists) to < 1 (psychiatrists). Six percent of all respondents reported having substantial numbers of patients with a history of male to male sexual contact (MSM), injecting drug use (IDU), or sex work (SW). More than 50% of all respondents reported routinely screening patients. Respondents were more likely to report screening IDUs than MSMs or SWs. Psychiatrists were least likely to screen individuals reporting risk factors. CONCLUSIONS: HIV screening practices differed substantially between specialties. With the exception of ID physicians and venereologists, doctors who requested larger numbers of tests were more likely to be testing for screening than risk related reasons.

AIDS Serodiagnosis/UTILIZATION Family Practice Female Homosexuality, Male Human HIV Infections/*DIAGNOSIS/TRANSMISSION Male Prostitution Questionnaires Risk Factors Specialties, Medical Substance Abuse, Intravenous Victoria ABSTRACT