Offering HIV testing at the resident level is a unique model of expanded testing. With access to hundreds of patients per day, residents can play prominent roles in the battle against HIV/AIDS in both inpatient and outpatient settings. PEHTI conducts residency education sessions and grand rounds presentations in collaboration with the AETC; please let us know if you would like us to present at your meetings. Below are some concerns residency programs hvae shared with us, and ways these issues can be resolved (HWA).
Concern: Residents have enough responsibilities and do not have time to perform HIV testing
HWA: Residents do not have to be directly involved in performing the HIV test. Most patients in an inpatient setting will be getting blood work done, and all the resident does is add an HIV test to the work orders of consenting patients. At about $5 per test, blood ELISAs are the cheapest means of HIV testing.
Concern: Prevention counseling is laborious and time-consuming
HWA: Per the revised CDC guidelines, prevention counseling (i.e. risk assessment and risk reduction planning) is no longer a prerequisite for HIV testing. However, Pennsylvania’s Act 148 requires that specific educational information be made available to the patient in pre-test counseling. We have developed pre-test educational literature (Resources) which can be included in an admissions packet or distributed at registration, and they help to supplement and accelerate the counseling process.
Concern: The consent process is too involved
HWA: Not anymore. We have developed a short consent form (Resources) which meets PA state law requirements, and are in the process of developing a generalized medical consent which includes HIV screening in accordance with the CDC guidelines.
Concern: How will expanded testing be sustainable after cessation of grant funds?
HWA: Some of our programs have succesfully billed for conventional HIV testing, and we provide technical assistance with achieving this. More information on coding guidelines are in the Quick Links section.