Routine HIV Testing Capacity, Practices, and Perceptions Among School-Based Health Center Providers in New York State After Enactment of the 2010 Amended HIV Testing Law

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Abstract

Background:

The 2010 New York State (NYS) HIV Testing Law requires that primary care providers routinely offer HIV testing to patients aged 13–64 years, regardless of risk, and link individuals with HIV to medical care. School-based health centers (SBHCs) are in a position to offer HIV screening to a significant proportion of youth. One year after the law went into effect, we conducted a study to assess whether NYS SBHCs implemented these provisions.

Methods:

Medical providers from 83 NYS SBHCs, serving students age 13 and older, participated in a Web-based survey regarding school-based health center capacity for and implementation of routine HIV testing, linkage to care, attitudes, and barriers.

Results:

On-site HIV testing was reported to be available at 71% of SBHCs. Linkages to age-appropriate HIV care were reported to be available at 85% of SBHCs. The routine offer of HIV testing for eligible students was reported to be implemented at 55% of SBHCs. Forty-one percent reported that HIV testing was offered to at least half of eligible students during the 2010–2011 school year. New York City and high school providers were more likely to report the routine offer of HIV testing, on-site testing, linkages to care, perceive students as willing to test, indicate fewer barriers, and report having offered testing to a majority of eligible students in the previous year.

Conclusions:

Many SBHCs have adopted key provisions of the amended NYS HIV Testing Law. Additional assistance may be needed to achieve full implementation; however, especially among SBHCs serving younger populations and those located outside New York City.

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