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Talking Points: Best Ways to Convey Results of an HIV Test to a Patient


(AUDIO) Now that guidelines mandate testing all adults for HIV status, what are the best ways to convey the results of this important but often sensitive test? Listen as the co-director of Emory University's Center for AIDS Research offers insights for effective communication on this topic.

Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Preventive Services Task Force now advise testing every patient between the ages of 18 and 65 for HIV. For many people not accustomed to thinking about AIDS, or those who don't view themselves as at-risk, this can be a very touchy subject.

What are the best ways to discuss the HIV test with patients? What language should you use in communicating the results? In this brief recorded interview, Carlos DelRio MD offers his perspective on how to carry out this important conversation.  

Dr. DelRio is professor of medicine and global health at Emory University in Atlanta and co-director of the Emory Center for AIDS Research.

Key quotes:

The opportunity to tell people that they're negative, and to tell people how to remain negative, should be one of our goals.

Most importantly, a person who tests positive needs to be linked to care, because nowadays with available antiretroviral therapy you can clearly get that patient to live what will be essentially a normal life. It's important to convey this to patients, that the HIV test is a way that they can enter care.

A colleague of mine at Emory has developed a website called AIDS Vu that can provide a lot of information.

Talking Points: Best Ways to Convey Results of an HIV Test to a Patient

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