In the routine HIV testing era, primary care physicians in community health centers remain unaware of HIV testing recommendations.
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BACKGROUND: Despite the 2006 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for routine HIV testing in health care settings, many persons remain untested. PURPOSE: To determine physician barriers to HIV testing, we surveyed primary care physicians in community health centers in a high HIV prevalence city. METHODS: Primary care physicians were invited via e-mail to participate in a Web-based survey. One hundred and thirty-seven physicians participated (response rate: 43.9%). RESULTS: Fifty-five physicians (41.0%) were unaware of updated CDC HIV testing recommendations. Physicians were unaware that testing should be routinely offered in primary care settings caring for adolescents (62 physicians, 45.6%) and primary care settings caring for adults (33, 24.3%). Physicians were also unaware that teenage years patients aged 13 to 17 years (68, 49.6%) and adult patients aged 18 to 64 years (40, 29.2%) should be routinely HIV tested. CONCLUSION: With the new 2013 US Preventive Services Task Force recommendations to support routine HIV testing, it is critical to address ongoing physician HIV testing barriers to mitigate the HIV epidemic.