Before You Start

Before You StartThese resources will help you to get organized and ready to implement your HIV testing program. Achieving success requires goals that are attainable and progress that can be monitored. Tracking and evaluating data is essential to refining or expanding HIV testing programs. Patient education and linkage to care protocols must also be ready before a program can offer HIV testing.

Several elements are needed to begin routine HIV testing in medical settings. These include, but are not limited to, 1) buy-in from leadership and clinical staff, 2) institutional champion(s) (e.g., clinical directors or lead administrators) to guide program implementation and 3) record keeping systems such as electronic health records that include an HIV test as a routine standard of care. Tracking and evaluating data through continuous quality improvement efforts is also essential to refine or expand HIV testing programs. Finally, patient education and linkage to care protocols must be ready before a program can offer HIV testing. These resources will help you to get organized and ready to implement your testing program.

Downloadable Resources
(Please right-click to download each resource.)

  1. Getting Started Checklist (East Bay AETC, 2008)
    This checklist was created to help you to think about all of the different issues to consider in implementing routine HIV testing.
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  2. HIV Routine Testing Implementation Planning Tool (MATEC, 2010)
    This tool will help to organize your HIV testing program. It presents activities to consider and will help track responsibilities, completion dates of the activities, and the outcomes of each task.
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  3. Health Center Model (NACHC, 2009)
    This document provides a model for how a community health center (CHC) can design a process where everyone 13 to 64 years of age is screened for HIV as a routine part of medical care. The tools and resources referenced were developed, tested, and successfully used by six community health centers participating in a Routine HIV Screening pilot supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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  4. Readiness Assessment for Emergency Departments (MATEC, 2007)
    This readiness assessment tool was designed to help implement routine HIV testing in the Emergency Department. However, all of the questions proposed should be considered by any organization that will perform HIV testing.
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  5. 10 Steps to a Quality HIV Testing Program (SEATAC)
    An important list of issues to consider before starting an HIV testing program.
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  6. Applying HIV Testing Guidelines in Clinical Practice (AFP, 2009)
    This article discusses the barriers faced while testing and how the current HIV testing guidelines address many of these barriers by making the testing process more streamlined and less stigmatizing.
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  7. Quality Assurance Guidelines for Rapid Tests (CDC, 2007)
    This document provides guidance on quality assurance (QA) practices for sites using or planning to use rapid tests waived under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) regulations.
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  8. Review of HIV Rapid Tests (CIDR, 2006)
    This paper reviews the operating and performance characteristics, quality assurance and laboratory requirements, and HIV counseling implications of some of the available rapid HIV tests.
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  9. Rapid HIV testing(CDC, 2005)
    Although this presentation is from 2005, it was included because it provides a good overview on performing several types of rapid HIV tests.
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  10. FDA-Approved Rapid Test Comparison Chart (HRET, CDC, 2007)
    This table presents most of the rapid HIV tests available today along with information on each test. However, actual pricing may vary depending on purchasing agreements with manufacturers.
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  11. ELISA Comparison (HRET, CDC, 2008)
    This table compares FDA-Approved HIV-1&2 Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISA or EIAs)
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  12. Branson Diagnostics Update(CDC 2010)
    This presentation by Dr. Bernie Branson focuses on recent advances in HIV testing technology and 3rd/4th generation tests.
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  13. Testing Technology (Lancet, 2012)
    The systematic review and meta-analysis to compare the diagnostic accuracy of  rapid HIV testing using oral and whole-blood are discussed in this article.
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  14. The Future of HIV Testing (Branson, 2010)
    This article examines new diagnostic strategies that will allow more accurate and earlier identification of HIV infection to allow prevention efforts to be focused where HIV transmission is most active and to also identify infected persons so that they can benefit from effective treatment.
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  15. New Technology Announcement (IDPH, 2012)
    The February 15, 2012 announcement by the Illinois Department of Public Health concerning the implementation of the new  4th generation HIV Antigen/Antibody Combo screening test.
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  16. Dedicated Tester vs Integrated Model
    This document compares some of the pros and cons of dedicated and integrated testing models.
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  17. Rapid HIV Testing Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities
    A policy and procedures document describing the implementation of HIV rapid testing in AltaMed – an extensive community health network in Southern California.
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  18. TCE Baseline Assessment Tool
    A useful tool that assesses an organization’s current capacity to conduct routine HIV testing and if already testing, its effectiveness.
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