The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly one out of eight people living with HIV infection does not know he or she has the disease. It is estimated that these people are responsible for 30 percent of all new HIV infections. In order to fight the spread of HIV and increase awareness, the CDC recommends that universal HIV screening be performed in all health care settings.
In 2008, the Michael & Susan Smith Emergency Department HIV Program began providing free HIV screenings to registered patients. Since then, it has performed more than 40,000 HIV tests and identified over 100 new HIV infections in Central Indiana. The program also receives support from the Marion County Public Health Department, Indiana State Department of Health and OraSure Technologies.
State-certified HIV counselors offer a rapid HIV screening to all emergency department patients between the ages of 13 and 64 who have not received an HIV test at Eskenazi Health in the past year. The test involves an oral swab and does not require any blood to be drawn. Patients receive their results before they leave.
Patients who receive an HIV-positive diagnosis are then linked to an infectious disease provider for follow-up care.
For more information, please contact the Michael & Susan Smith Emergency Department HIV Program at 317.880.7990.