Missed Opportunity Encounters for Early Diagnosis of HIV Infection in Adolescents

Zachary M. Most, Gohar J. Warraich, Lorraine James, Kathleen Costello, Stephen Dietz, Gabriella S. Lamb, Amanda S. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Early diagnosis of HIV infection improves patient outcomes and reduces transmission. Adolescents make up one-fifth of new HIV diagnoses in the United States. We sought to quantify the number of missed opportunity encounters (MOEs) before HIV diagnosis for adolescents at a pediatric hospital (PediHosp) and a proximate adult hospital which employs universal HIV screening in its emergency department (ED) (CountyHosp). Methods: An observational study at 2 academic tertiary care hospitals in the United States that included all adolescents 13-20 years old with a new diagnosis of behaviorally-acquired HIV infection from 2006 to 2017. MOE were defined as any encounter at PediHosp or CountyHosp after the latter of the individual's 13th birthday or the date 3 months after the individual's most recent negative HIV screen, and before the encounter of HIV diagnosis. Comparisons were made by site of diagnosis and location of MOE. Results: Two-hundred five subjects met inclusion criteria: 68% male, 76% Black and 81% men who have sex with men. There were 264 MOE, the proportion of adolescent ED encounters that were MOE at the PediHosp ED was 8.3 MOE per 10,000 encounters and the proportion at the CountyHosp ED was 1.2 (relative risk = 6.7; 95% CI: 4.1-11.0; P < 0.001). Conclusions: MOE for HIV diagnosis in adolescents occur frequently and are greater in number at a PediHosp as compared with a similar adult setting with universal screening. Universal HIV screening protocols at PediHosp may identify HIV-positive adolescents earlier.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E106-E110
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021


  • HIV
  • adolescents
  • screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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