Feasibility of a Computer-Based Intervention Addressing Barriers to HIV Testing Among Young Patients Who Decline Tests at Triage

Ian David Aronson, Charles M. Cleland, David C. Perlman, Sonali Rajan, Wendy Sun, Theodore C. Bania

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Young people face greatly increased human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) risk and high rates of undiagnosed HIV, yet are unlikely to test. Many also have limited or inconsistent access to health care, including HIV testing and prevention education, and prior research has documented that youth lack knowledge necessary to understand the HIV test process and to interpret test results. Computer-based interventions have been used to increase HIV test rates and knowledge among emergency department (ED) patients, including those who decline tests offered at triage. However, patients aged 18–24 years have been less likely to test, even after completing an intervention, compared to older patients in the same ED setting. The current pilot study sought to examine the feasibility and acceptability of a new tablet-based video intervention designed to address established barriers to testing among ED patients aged 18–24 years. In particular, we examined whether young ED patients would: agree to receive the intervention; complete it quickly enough to avoid disrupting clinical workflows; accept HIV tests offered by the intervention; demonstrate increased postintervention knowledge; and report they found the intervention acceptable. Over 4 weeks, we recruited 100 patients aged 18–24 in a high-volume urban ED; all of them declined HIV tests offered at triage. Almost all (98%) completed the intervention (mean time <9 mins), 30% accepted HIV tests offered by the tablets. Knowledge was significantly higher after than before the intervention (t = −6.67, p < .001) and patients reported generally high acceptability. Additional research appears warranted to increase postintervention HIV testing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1039-1045
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016


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