The aim of this study was to assess perceptions of health professionals involved in HIV testing policy and practice in national settings across the WHO European Region regarding the delivery of HIV test results, post-test discussion and referral to specialist HIV services as recommended in authoritative guidelines.
An online self-report survey was completed by a convenience sample of 338 respondents (response rate 34.1%) from 55 countries. Respondents worked with non-government organisations (49.4%), health services (32.8%), non-health service government agencies (6.2%) or other organisations (11.5%; e.g. prisons, education and research, international development).
Experts' perceptions indicate that delivery of HIV-positive test results and related post-test discussion in their country generally corresponded to recommendations. However, results pointed to a significant gap perceived by experts between recommendations and the practice of delivering HIV-negative test results. Fewer respondents thought that suitable time is taken to deliver a negative HIV-test result (54.1%) than a positive result (73.1%). Also, fewer respondents thought there was a procedure for referral to specialist treatment, care and support services for people receiving a HIV-negative test result (34.9%) than for people receiving an HIV-positive test result (86.2%). Experts also reported low perceived use of communication technologies (i.e. telephone, email, text messaging, a secure website) for delivering HIV test results.
This expert survey offers new insight into perceived HIV post-test practices in almost all national settings across the WHO European Region. The findings provide valuable guidance for future HIV testing guidelines for the WHO European Region.
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By: Stephen Bell A F, Jordi Casabona B, Nino Tsereteli C, Dorthe Raben D and John de WitE
A The Kirby Institute, Wallace Wurth Building, UNSW Australia, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.
B CEEISCAT/ASPC and CIBERESP, CEEISCAT, Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol, crta. Del Canyet sn, 08916, Badalona, Catalonia, Spain.
C Centre for Information and Counseling on Reproductive Health – Tanadgoma, 21 A. Kurdiana str, 0112, Tbilisi, Georgia.
D Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, CHIP, Department of Infectious Diseases, Section 2100, Finsencentret, Blegdamsvej 9, DK-2100, Copenhagen, Denmark.
E Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW Australia, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.
F Corresponding author. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sex Health. 2016 Mar 17. doi: 10.1071/SH15186.
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