HIV Screening and Early Referral in the Trauma Population: The Experience of a Large Safety Net Hospital

Maryanne L. Pickett, Luis R. Taveras, Traneika Turner-Wentt, Samuel W. Ross, Holly B. Weis, Tarik D. Madni, Jonathan B. Imran, Michael Zhou, So Youn Park, Michael W. Cripps, Herb A. Phelan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: While the prevalence of HIV infection in the population is 0.5%, it is higher among trauma patients as are rates of unknown seropositivity. Routine HIV screening for all trauma evaluations was implemented at our urban level I center in 2009. We aimed to evaluate use and results of the program in our trauma population. Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of all trauma evaluations between July 2015 and February 2018. After passage of legislation rescinding the requirement for consent to perform HIV testing, our trauma service instituted an order set which automatically tested for HIV unless the ordering physician opted out. Patients found to be infected with HIV were to be counseled and referred to specialty care. Results: Of 6175 consecutive trauma evaluations during the study period, 449 (7.3%) patients had been screened within the prior year and were excluded. Of the remaining cohort, 2024 (35.3%) patients were screened with 27 (1.3%) testing positive. Among those testing positive for infection, 100% were male, 77% white, 63% non-Hispanic, and 70% lacked insurance. Twenty-five (92.6%) patients received counseling and 19 were referred to specialty care. Age, gender, race, ethnicity, Injury Severity Score, trauma activation level, and payor type were not significant predictors for positive HIV screen on logistic regression analysis. Conclusions: Despite a significantly higher rate of HIV in the trauma population, only a third of patients are screened. Such high infection rates justify the existence of this screening program but steps must be taken to increase screening rate. Level of Evidence: Level 3.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)360-366
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • HIV screening
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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