An Evaluation of Expanded HIV Testing
Special Projects Fund
November 16, 2006
As of March 2005, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene estimated that more than 95,000 residents of New York City had been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.
An additional 25% of people who were infected were unaware of their status because they had not been tested. In July 2005, New York City’s Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) responded to this gap in testing by implementing an HIV Testing Expansion Initiative in 17 facilities. The goals of the Initiative were to integrate HIV testing into non HIV-related visits to three care settings—inpatient, outpatient, and emergency departments. In November 2006, the New York Health Foundation (NYHealth) awarded HHC a grant to evaluate the Initiative.
Clearly, there is an urgent need for more testing, and this grant to the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (NYCHHC) aims to identify the best models to accomplish that end. Specifically, this grant supports a program to evaluate each HIV testing method used in the City’s public hospitals for effectiveness.
In 2006, to take advantage of new tests that provide results within 20 minutes, NYCHHC began a program to do routine HIV testing in some inpatient services, outpatient clinics, and emergency departments. This program increased the percentage of people tested by 60%. A team of evaluators is systematically assessing each of the testing practices utilized by public hospitals to identify which approaches have been the most successful in maximizing limited resources. At the end of the grant, the evaluators will make recommendations to NYCHHC on how best to integrate HIV testing into routine medical care settings.
NYCHHC serves 1.3 million primarily low-income patients in New York City through 11 acute care hospitals, six diagnostic and treatment centers, four long-term care facilities, more than100 small community-extension clinics, a home health agency, and a health maintenance organization.