Incorporating HIV Screening With COVID-19 Testing in an Urban Emergency Department During the Pandemic
April 12, 2021
Kimberly A. Stanford; Moira C. McNulty; Jessica R. Schmitt; Dylan S. Eller; Jessica P. Ridgway, Kathleen V. Beavis, David L. Pitrak
JAMA Internal Medicine
Routine screening of HIV has decreased greatly during the pandemic. Researchers found a decrease by 49% in testing for acute HIV from January 1 to April 30, 2020 at most study sites. In contrast, the emergency department at The University of Chicago Medicine was able to keep up their screening volumes by offering HIV screening at the same time as COVID-19 testing. Between January 1 and October 16, 2020 the emergency department at The University of Chicago Medicine conducted 19,111 HIV tests in tandem with COVID-19 tests and had 12 HIV-positive results. In fact, acute HIV diagnoses were higher at this emergency department compared to pre-pandemic rates. One of the twelve patients had both COVID-19 and acute HIV, while the other eleven had symptoms consistent with COVID-19 but received negative results. All were able to initiate antiretroviral therapy. This study showed that linking HIV screening with COVID-19 testing is a possible solution to the decreased rates of HIV screening during the pandemic.
Stanford KA, McNulty MC, Schmitt JR, et al. Incorporating HIV Screening With COVID-19 Testing in an Urban Emergency Department During the Pandemic. JAMA Intern Med. Published online April 12, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.0839