An interesting presentation by Stephen Davies from North Shore Sexual Health Service (Sydney) at the recent Australasian HIV & AIDS Conference showed that gay men preferred receiving HIV test results from a conventional blood test the following business day over a rapid point-of-care test.
Since December 2012, NSSHS has offered the option of receiving conventional HIV test results (if negative) by SMS on the following business day after their test. Gay men were able to choose between: 1) having a point-of-care test; 2) receiving their results by phone 5 to 7 days later; or 3) receiving results by SMS.
Overall, 94% of those who opted for SMS results were satisfied with this method. Of the 48 men who had previously had a point-of-care test, 35 elected a result by SMS. Feedback via clinicians indicated that men perceived conventional pathology as more reliable than rapid testing. A longer visit time also undermined the popularity of the rapid point-of-care test.