Because adolescents and emerging adults are frequently not offered HIV testing, and often decline tests when offered, we developed and tested a tablet-based intervention to increase HIV test rates among emergency department (ED) patients aged 13-24 years. Pediatric and adult ED patients in a high volume New York City hospital (N = 295) were randomized to receive a face-to-face HIV test offer, or to complete a tablet-based intervention that contained an HIV test offer delivered via computer. Test rates in both conditions were then compared to historic test rates in the same ED during the previous six months. Among participants aged 19 years and younger who were offered HIV testing and declined before enrollment in the study, participants in the tablet-based condition were 1.7 times more likely to test for HIV compared to participants in the face-to-face condition. Participants aged 19 years and younger were three times as likely to test for HIV compared to patients the same age who were treated in the previous six months (26.39%, n = 71 study participants vs. 10.29%, n = 189 prior patients, OR = 3.13, 2 = 54.76, p < 0.001). Protocols designed to offer HIV testing to all eligible patients can significantly increase adolescent test rates compared to standard practice. Because tablets are equally effective compared to face-to-face offers, and in some cases more so, EDs may consider tablet-based interventions that require fewer staff resources and may integrate more easily into high-volume workflows.
Mobile augmented screening to increase HIV testing among emergency department patients as young as 13 years