HIV testing practices of primary care physicians: an Ontario survey.
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To determine whether physicians are knowledgeable about the risk factors associated with HIV and whether perceived testing practices coincide with testing guidelines, 1,236 physicians were surveyed about which patients they would recommend for HIV testing. A total of 480 usable responses were obtained (response rate of 50% of the eligible sample). Most would suggest testing to partners of intravenous drug users, patients who received blood transfusions between 1978 and 1985, homosexuals and bisexuals, and patients with more than two sexually transmitted diseases. Only 46.4% would suggest testing to patients with more than two sexual partners, and 65.8% would test anyone who asks. Other patients to whom physicians would recommend testing were listed by 16.2%. Logistic regression (F-step) was used to examine the relationship between physician characteristics and likelihood of recommending testing. As a rule, physicians are knowledgeable about the major risk factors and would recommend testing according to guidelines. However, there may be a difference between questionnaire responses and actual practice.
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