Effectiveness and feasibility study of routine HIV rapid testing in an urban methadone maintenance treatment program

Randy Seewald, R. Douglas Bruce, Rashiah Elam, Ruy Tio, Sara Lorenz, Patricia Friedmann, David Rabin, Yana B. Garger, Valentin Bonilla, David C. Perlman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Universal Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) testing and treatment are strategies to decrease AIDS-related morbidity and mortality and to reduce HIV transmission. Objective: This study examined the feasibility and effectiveness of routine HIV rapid testing implemented in the largest New York City (NYC) Methadone Maintenance Treatment Program (MMTP). Methods: A routine HIV rapid testing program performed by medical providers without pretest counseling or the provision of incentives was compared to HIV rapid testing done by referral to HIV counselors with pretest counseling and incentives over the prior 12 months. Results: Routine HIV rapid testing proved feasible and effective when performed by the medical staff in the setting of a large urban MMTP. The program increased HIV testing in all genders, race/ethnicities, and ages. HIV-positive individuals were diagnosed and successfully linked to care. The elimination of HIV prevention counseling may have facilitated expanded testing. Conclusion: This study confirms that routine HIV rapid testing without HIV-prevention counseling or the provision of incentives for patients is feasible on a large scale in a busy, urban methadone clinic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-251
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • HIV testing
  • Methadone maintenance
  • Opt-in testing
  • Opt-out testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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