1245167_Wells,N_2024.pdf (553.87 kB)
Requesting HIV Results Be Conveyed in-Person: Perspectives of Clinicians and People Recently Diagnosed with HIV
journal contributionposted 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.