How to communicate about informed consent for HIV testing in the ED?
The CDC recommends that HIV testing be voluntary. As such, no patient should be tested unless he or she has provided informed consent. The informed consent process ensures that the provider and the patient have communicated about information the patient needs to make an informed decision to undergo or to decline HIV testing.
While informed consent is a key part of the testing process, it should facilitate not impede patients' acceptance of HIV testing. For this reason, the CDC recommends that HIV testing in health care settings need not be linked with other HIV teaching efforts, such as prevention counseling. However, state and local statutes govern content and procedures for informed consent, so it is important to contact your health department for clarification on informed consent requirements.
This section addresses some elements in CDC's recommended approach to informed consent, namely opt-out testing, streamlined pretest information, and general consent forms. It also provides some approaches to delivering pretest information to patients
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