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HIV Testing in Emergency Departments: A Practical Guide
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Choosing a Test

What to consider when choosing what HIV test to use?

Today a number of new HIV testing technologies are available that use less-invasive specimens—such as whole blood from a finger stick or saliva from an oral swab—and that provide rapid results. 

Laboratory directors, with input from clinical staff, are responsible for choosing which HIV test will be used in a facility. They will evaluate the performance, quality assurance requirements, and cost of various tests and will evaluate the tradeoffs of using traditional tests or rapid tests as well as performing tests in the laboratory or at the point of care.  The following pages offer some general information on HIV tests and direct readers to useful resources to help guide their test selection.





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This guide was made possible through a cooperative agreement between the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) and the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (APTR), award number TS-0990;
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