Provision of HIV test results by telephone is both safe and efficient for men who have sex with men

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The aim of this study was to assess the impact of delivering HIV test results by telephone on HIV testing and subsequent risk behaviour of men, as well as saving on clinic consultation time. It was conducted at the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, the main public sexual health clinic servicing Victoria, Australia. In 2013, a policy change was introduced so men could obtain their HIV test result via telephone. We compared the proportion of men testing for HIV and receiving results in the 24 months before (2011–2012) and the 24 months after (2013–2014) the policy change. There was a modest increase in the proportion of men having a HIV test of 3.2% (p < 0.001) after the policy change. The provision of HIV results by telephone more than halved the number of men re-attending (74.4% vs. 33.1%) which freed up 516 hours of clinic time and had no adverse outcome on subsequent risk behaviour, nor changed the proportion of men who obtained their HIV results (p = 0.058), or the period of time between testing and obtaining results for HIV-negative (p = 0.007) and HIV-positive results (p = 0.198). Telephone notification of HIV test results is a useful option given the potential beneficial effects shown.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-44
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of STD & AIDS
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • HIV
  • risk profile
  • Testing rates

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