Rapid Point-of-Care HIV Testing in Youth: A Systematic Review

Published:September 20, 2013DOI:



      This review examines the literature surrounding acceptability of, and preference for, rapid point-of-care (POC) human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing in youth, documents notification rates when youth were offered rapid POC testing, and identifies the sociodemographic factors associated with testing.


      The reviewers searched the scholarly literature indexed in MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, and PsycInfo using a set of keywords related to youth and rapid POC HIV testing. A total of 14 articles were included in the review.


      Four themes were identified: (1) Youth will accept rapid POC testing, particularly if offered; (2) youth prefer rapid POC testing to traditional testing; (3) youth receive their rapid POC HIV test results; and (4) older youth and those with HIV risk factors or a concurrent genitourinary diagnosis are more likely to accept rapid POC HIV testing when it is offered.


      Evidence shows that youth accept and prefer rapid POC HIV tests when offered. The routine use of rapid POC HIV tests in emergency departments and adolescent primary care clinics should be considered because of higher uptake in these environments. Youth receive their rapid POC test results more frequently and sooner than traditional test results. However, further work is needed to develop HIV testing programs that target younger adolescents.


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