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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 287-289

Relevance of opt-out screening for HIV in emergency and pre-surgery patients in a tertiary care center in Northern India: A pilot study


1 Department of Immunopathology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Pediatrics, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
3 Department of Internal Medicine, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
4 Department of Neurosurgery, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
S Sehgal
Department of Immunopathology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh
India
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Source of Support: Director Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0377-4929.64334

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Objective: A preliminary opt-out screening study for HIV was conducted in a tertiary care hospital in India according to Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. A total of 876 cases were screened for HIV during August 2007 to December 2007 using tests approved by the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO). Results: Data indicates that the prevalence of HIV in emergency and pre-surgical setting was 21 per thousand at the tertiary care center. Positivity rate in the pediatric population was 20.9 per thousand while in adults it was 21.4 per thousand. Most patients were totally unsuspected. Nearly 40000 patients seek admission annually to the emergency department alone. Thus nearly 700 to 800 patients may be missed every year if one does not resort to such a practice. Conclusion: Since India has the second largest number of HIV cases in the world, opt-out screening program and testing in an emergency setting, as recommended by CDC, is extremely relevant. Logistics of implementation of this policy need to be worked out at a national level.


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