In 2019, the US Preventative Services Task Force released updated guidelines recommending HIV screening in all individuals aged 15–64 years and all pregnant females. In the current study, we aimed to identify risk factors for HIV infection in an emergency department (ED) population.
We performed a cross-sectional study that employed a post hoc risk factor analysis of ED patients ≥18 years who were screened for HIV between 27 November 2018 and 26 November 2019, at a single urban, quaternary referral academic hospital. Patients were screened using HIV antigen/antibody testing and diagnoses were confirmed using HIV-1/HIV-2 antibody testing. The outcome of interest was the number of positive HIV tests. Multiple logistic regression models were used to identify risk factors associated with HIV positivity.
14 335 adult patients were screened for HIV (mean age: 43±14 years; 52% female). HIV seroprevalence was 0.7%. Independent risk factors for HIV positivity included male sex (adjusted OR (aOR) 3.1 (95% CI 1.7 to 5.6)), unhoused status (aOR 2.9 (95% CI 1.7 to 4.9)), history of illicit drug use (aOR 1.8 (95% CI 1.04 to 3.13)) and Medicare insurance status (aOR 2.2 (95% CI 1.1 to 4.4)).
The study ED services a high-risk population with regard to HIV infection. These data support universal screening of ED patients for HIV. Risk factor profiles could improve targeted screening at institutions without universal HIV testing protocols.