Evaluating the 2010 New York State HIV Testing Law in NYC Ambulatory Practices Using Electronic Health Records

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Introduction:In 2010, the New York State Legislature made it mandatory to offer an HIV test to people aged 13–64 years receiving hospital or primary care services, with limited exceptions. In this study, we used data from New York City practices to evaluate the impact of the law on HIV testing rates in ambulatory care.Methods:We collected quarterly testing data from the electronic health records of 218 practices. We calculated overall and stratified crude testing rates. Using univariate and multivariate generalized estimating equation models, we assessed the odds of testing in the year before the law (baseline) versus the first and second year after the law's implementation (year 1 and year 2).Results:During baseline, the odds of testing did not increase significantly. During year 1, the odds of testing significantly increased by 50% in the univariate model and 200% after adjusting for confounders. During year 2, the odds of testing increased 10%. This was only significant in the univariate model. The crude quarterly testing rate increased from 2.8% to 5.7% from baseline to year 2.Conclusions:Our evaluation showed that after the implementation of the HIV testing law, there was an increase in HIV testing among NYC ambulatory practices. Testing rates remained modest, but considerable improvement was seen in community health centers, in age ranges targeted by the law and in practices that were screening for HIV at baseline. This study suggests that legislation may be effective when used in a comprehensive prevention strategy.

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