All patients attending a sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic were offered voluntary, anonymous human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)—antibody testing and counseling as part of routine clinical evaluation. During a three-month evaluation period, 82% of patients accepted HIV testing. Testing was accepted equally by men and women and by heterosexual and homosexual men. Black men were more likely to refuse testing than men from other ethnic groups. Eight (0.7%) of 1146 STD clinic patients tested were infected with HIV. A blinded study of 237 patients who refused testing identified nine (3.8%) additional HIVinfected patients. Men who refused testing were 5.3 times more likely to be infected than men who accepted testing. Male homosexuals and black and Hispanic men who refused testing were 7.3 and 8.8 times, respectively, more likely to be infected with HIV than were their counterparts who accepted testing. Human immunodeficiency virus testing and counseling should be routinely offered to STD clinic patients. Male STD clinic patients, especially homosexual or minority men, who refuse voluntary HIV testing should be counseled regarding reducing their risk for HIV transmission.
Hull HF, Bettinger CJ, Gallaher MM, Keller NM, Wilson J, Mertz GJ. Comparison of HIV-Antibody Prevalence in Patients Consenting to and Declining HIV-Antibody Testing in an STD Clinic. JAMA. 1988;260(7):935–938. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410070063029