Skip to main content

Table 1 Comparisons between community-based RHT and clinical services offering conventional HIV testing in Queensland

From: Increasing HIV testing among hard-to-reach groups: examination of RAPID, a community-based testing service in Queensland, Australia

  Community-based Peer Testing Services e.g., RAPID Public Sexual Health Service (PSHS) or Primary Care Provider
HIV test available RHT Conventional whole blood sample testing (RHT available in some PSHS)
Who performs HIV pre-test information and test Trained Peer Testing Facilitator (LGBTQI+ people) Clinician (e.g., Specialist Sexual Health/HIV Registered Nurses (RN), Sexual Health Physician/HIV Specialist or GP)
Results Waiting time   
 RHT In-house In-house
 Conventional   Off-site at public pathology service
Confirmatory HIV testing If the test is RHT reactive –conventional HIV test performed by Trained Peer Testing Facilitator and specimen sent to private pathology service for analysis Analysis performed on initial whole blood sample
Confirmed HIV positive Referred off-site to PSHS or GP of clients choice for HIV careb HIV care provided on-siteb
Appointment/Walk-in Walk-in Appointment +/− walk-in for symptomatic
Location Community sites, SOPVs, LGBTQI+ events Clinics and GP practices
Cost of service to clients Free PSHS free, GP may require a co-payment in addition to Medicarea fee
Cost to Health System Cost effective population testing, but more expensive for HIV reactive results because requires additional test Less cost effective for population screening than RHT, but for those receiving a positive result it is cheaper than community-based RHT
Pre-test information and sexual health history Often do not take full history, but provide education while waiting for results Full sexual history generally standard practice
  1. +/− indicates RHT is only offered at some GP/PHC services offer RHT
  2. aMedicare is the Australian Governments universal public health insurance scheme
  3. bIn Australia Sexual Health Physicians, HIV Specialists and GPs providing HIV care are required to be authorised to prescribe antiretroviral medication (Commonly referred to as s100 Prescribers)