La Trobe
1245167_Wells,N_2024.pdf (553.87 kB)

Requesting HIV Results Be Conveyed in-Person: Perspectives of Clinicians and People Recently Diagnosed with HIV

Download (553.87 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2024-02-12, 02:20 authored by N Wells, Dean MurphyDean Murphy, Jeannette EllardJeannette Ellard, C Howard, P Keen, C Fairley, B Donovan, Garrett PrestageGarrett Prestage
Introduction: Guidelines recommend that, where possible, clinicians convey HIV-positive test results in person in Australia. However, HIV-negative and all other STI results are routinely delivered by phone or text message. Requesting individuals to obtain positive HIV test results in person could be a deviation from the standard delivery of healthcare and be interpreted as indicating a positive HIV diagnosis. Methods: This paper is based on two related, ongoing qualitative studies conducted in Australia with HIV healthcare providers and people recently diagnosed with HIV. In study one, in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with people who had recently received a positive HIV diagnosis. In study two, in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with HIV healthcare and peer support providers. Interviews were analyzed thematically. Results: While clinicians were willing to convey HIV-positive diagnoses by phone, most preferred in-person delivery. In-person delivery enabled clinicians to assess visual cues to better respond to the psychological and emotional needs of patients. For some participants living with HIV, however, the requirement to return to the clinic was interpreted as an unofficial HIV-positive diagnosis. This led to a period in which recently diagnosed participants believed they were HIV-positive without having received an explicit diagnosis. Conclusion: Protocols for delivering HIV diagnoses by phone, followed by a face-to-face appointment, may reduce the period of anxiety for some patients and assist with an early connection to HIV care and support. Policy Implications: In some instances, conveying HIV diagnoses by phone may be more appropriate than recalling individuals to the clinic to deliver a positive HIV diagnosis in person.


The RISE Study receives funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Australia, Gilead Sciences, and the health departments of the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, the North Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia, and Victoria.


Publication Date



Sexuality Research and Social Policy






8p. (p. 364-371)


Springer Nature



Rights Statement

© The Author(s) 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit

Usage metrics

    Journal Articles



    Ref. manager