Published Nov. 27, 2017 by Robin Tricoles, University Communications
People seek care at hospital emergency departments for all sorts of afflictions, be they heart attacks, asthma attacks, auto accidents, broken bones, food poisoning or flu. Others seek care because they fear they may have been exposed to HIV.
Emergency departments, however, can be crowded and have long wait times, and they can be expensive even for those with insurance. What's more, connecting patients to follow-up care can be a challenge, particularly for uninsured patients. But for some without access to primary care, the emergency department is the only care available.
All of which begs the question: What is the best way to care for people who come to the emergency department after having been exposed to HIV, or suspecting so?
Dr. Brad Dreifuss, University of Arizona assistant professor of emergency medicine and public health, and his infectious disease collaborators — Shannon Smith and Alyssa Guido — think they may have the answer: Make managing potential HIV exposures and screening for HIV a seamless part of emergency care.