Program Schedule

Knowledge, Practice, and Attitudes of University of California San Diego Medical Students with Regard to HIV and HIV Screening

Session: Poster Abstract Session: HIV: Testing and Changing Demographics
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Room: The Pennsylvania Convention Center: IDExpo Hall BC
  • IDWeek2014_Poster1535.pdf (387.5 kB)
  • Background: In 2006 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended universal HIV screening for persons aged 13-64, but many providers have not integrated it into their practice.  A pilot study was designed to assess HIV knowledge, current practice and attitudes of University of California San Diego medical students with regard to screening. 

    Methods: An anonymous online survey of 32 questions was distributed to students during early 2013.  IBM SPSS Statistical Desktop version 21.0.0 was used for analysis of N=132 respondents, with a statistical significance of p<0.05. 

    Results: 93.3% (168/180) of respondents had not been informed of the 2006 CDC guideline for universal screening.  Many of the respondents had knowledge deficiencies in HIV epidemiology, policy and infrastructure and high threshold for ordering HIV test.  65.6% (118/180) agreed that they would support universal opt-out HIV screening, however 52.8% (95/180) identified one or more barrier(s) to HIV screening in their practice training.  The most common barrier was lack of knowledge or training (19.4% 35/180).  Medical students who had never personally had an HIV test, had less experience with HIV patients, and had ordered fewer HIV tests in the past 6 months were more likely to report barriers to universal testing. 

    Conclusion: Medical students are largely unaware of the 2006 CDC HIV screening recommendations and universal HIV testing is not implemented.  The most prevalent barrier to universal testing is lack of knowledge, which was evident in our data.  Future interventions should focus on increasing HIV medical education and providing more clinical experience with HIV patient care.

    Table 1: Medical student perceived barriers to screening

          Pearson's X2        p
    Personal HIV test                                                      10.569                   0.005
    HIV patient exposure                     15.033        0.005
    HIV tests ordered last 6 months           21.567        0.000
    Perception of barriers           11.635        0.003

    Table 2: Multinomial bivariate and multivariable predictors of respondents with NO barriers to screening

    Bivariate OR (95% CI)     p Multivariable  OR (95% CI)     p
    Perception of barriers

    No     4.745          (1.81-12.43)

    Yes                       (ref)



    No  3.893    (1.31-11.56)

    Yes              (ref)



    HIV tests ordered last 6 months

    [<5]        0.241    (0.09-0.64)  

    [5-10]                  (ref)

    [11-20]   3.182     (0.52-19.64)

    [>20]      1.782    (0.44-7.18)







     Personal HIV test

    Never  0.242         (0.09-0.59)

    Yes                       (ref)



    Never 0.275   (0.11-0.72)

    Yes                (ref)



    Theodoros Katsivas, MD MAS, Dept of Medicine/Infectious Disease, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA and Shannon St Clair, MD, MPH, Dept of Medicine, Kansas Medical School in Wichita, KS, Wichita, KS


    T. Katsivas, None

    S. St Clair, None

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