Opt-out HIV testing in a hospital emergency department may cost less than managing two patients with undiagnosed HIV

From AIDSMap:

Opt-out HIV testing in accident and emergency departments in areas of high HIV prevalence is likely to save NHS trusts money by avoiding expensive in-patient admissions for individuals with unexplained and deteriorating illnesses, according to presentations at the British HIV Association conference in Manchester last week.

The first analysis came from King’s College Hospital, which is located in an extremely high prevalence area of south London, where 1.2% of people have HIV, including 0.4% who are undiagnosed. Although national guidelines have recommended opt-out HIV testing in emergency departments in high prevalence areas since 2008, financial pressures have discouraged local NHS managers from implementing the policy.

Clinicians advocating for increased HIV testing at King’s College wanted to demonstrate to the NHS that it would be a cost-saving measure.

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