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Expanding HIV rapid testing via point-of-care paraprofessionals.

Knapp H, Anaya HD, Feld JE. Expanding HIV rapid testing via point-of-care paraprofessionals. International Journal of STD & AIDS. 2008 Sep 1; 19(9):629-32.

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HIV counselling and testing has traditionally been performed by highly trained professionals in clinical settings. With HIV rapid testing, a reliable and easy to use diagnostic tool, paraprofessionals can be trained to administer on-site HIV testing in a variety of non-traditional settings, broadening the HIV detection rates. Our objective was to create a robust and sustainable paraprofessional training module to facilitate off-site HIV rapid testing in non-clinical settings. Trainees attended a series of training sessions involving HIV education, rapid test instructions and communication techniques. After these sessions, trainees competently carried out HIV rapid testing in homeless shelters throughout the Los Angeles county. Agencies motivated to expand HIV screening programmes may use trained paraprofessionals to administer a full range of services (recruitment, pretest counselling, test administration, interpretation of results, post-test counselling and documentation) through this training model and enabling more highly trained healthcare providers to focus efforts on patients identified as HIV-positive.

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