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Editor's Correspondence
April 12, 1999

A Population With Short Delay From Diagnosis of Human Immunodeficiency Virus to Medical Care

Arch Intern Med. 1999;159(7):758-759. doi:

In response to the article in the ARCHIVES by Samet et al,1 we looked in our population at the delay between receiving a test diagnostic of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and the subsequent presentation for HIV care. Although patients in our region receive routine medical care that includes HIV testing from community physicians, an immediate referral for the regional center is encouraged for all infected patients to access HIV-specific laboratory tests (CD4 cell counts, viral load) and publicly funded antiretroviral medications. Reporting of HIV-positive tests was not required under public health legislation during the entire period of our analysis. There is no limitation at the referral center that might impose a prolonged waiting period for the patient, and the system of referral from community physicians to the center has remained unchanged since 1985.