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Rates and Predictors of Newly Diagnosed HIV Infection Among Veterans Receiving Routine Once-Per-Lifetime HIV Testing in the Veterans Health Administration



To determine predictors and variations in the rate of newly diagnosed HIV infection among persons who underwent routine (ie, non-risk based) rather than risk-based HIV testing in Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities.


Retrospective observational study of the HIV infection new rates during the period when VHA policy called for routine (2009-2012) versus risk-based (2006-2009) HIV testing. Source data for testing results at 18 VHA facilities were obtained from the VHA National Corporate Data Warehouse.


New HIV diagnoses were established in 0.14% (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.12 to 0.46) of the 210,957 patients tested in the routine testing period versus 0.46% (95% CI: 0.42 to 1.29) of the 89,652 patients tested in the risk-based testing period. Among persons aged 65-74 years and 75 years or older, the new diagnosis rates were 0.07% (95% CI: 0.04 to 0.09) and 0.02% (95% CI: 0.00 to 0.03), respectively, and thus less than the generally accepted cost-effective threshold of 0.10%. Among African Americans, the upper bound of the 95% CI of the crude rate of new diagnoses during the routine-testing period was greater than 0.1% across all age strata. When assessed by year of testing, the adjusted rates of new diagnoses fell from 0.20% in 2010 to 0.10% in 2012.


Routine HIV testing is cost-effective among persons younger than 65 years. Among older patients, risk-based testing may be a more efficient and cost-effective approach. This will be increasingly relevant if rates of new HIV diagnoses in persons undergoing routine testing continue to decrease.

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