Background: Atlanta is among the 12 U.S. cities with the highest burden of HIV/AIDS. In 2012, the HIV/AIDS Primary Clinic (HIVC) at Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness (FCDHW) and the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) participated with the STD/HIV Prevention Training Center (PTC) in a project focused on the HIV providers at the HIVC to increase: 1) screening for sexual risk behaviors; 2) screening testing for other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as syphilis, gonorrhea (GC) and chlamydia (CT); and, 3) extra-genital screening to rule out asymptomatic STIs in the rectum or throat.
Methods: A baseline record review was done for all HIV-infected patients presenting for services at the HIVC in November, 2012. In December 2012, a brief training was offered to all the providers, two provider champions were identified and a risk assessment tool was introduced. These interventions were followed by a repeat record review in January 2013.
Results: During the month of November 2012, a total of 521 patients were seen at the HIVC (386 males and 135 females), of those, 9.3% (36/386) males and 8.9% (12/135) females were tested for CT/GC. No extra-genital tests were performed. In the month of January 2013, 557 patients presented for care (433 males, 124 females), 100% were assessed for STI risk, and CT/GC screening increased to 9.5% (41/433) in males and 12.1% (15/124) in females, an increase of 2% and 36% respectively. Based on the risk assessment, no extra-genital tests were performed.
Conclusions: These results indicate that there were gaps in service. Providers’ increased awareness resulted in identifying patients at-risk for acquiring other STIs and offered an opportunity to counsel patients about risks for acquiring STIs. These findings indicate that offering provider training and incorporating a risk assessment reminder into the chart can assist the provider in identifying patients needing STI screening.