Family physician attitudes about HIV screening

John G. Ryan, Lu Ann Aday, Nancy K. Hansel, George T. Oser, Mark E. Clasen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This study examined why and for whom family physicians are likely to require HIV screening according to general policies or procedures, based on a national survey of 2,660 family practice physicians. Of those contacted, 1,678 responded, yielding a response rate of 63.7%. The study also examined whether attitudes toward screening differed for physicians in different types of practices, of varying educational backgrounds, and with differing opinions regarding treating persons with AIDS (PWAs). The results showed that required screening was most strongly endorsed for pregnant women who had other risk factors and for i.v. drug users. Those physicians who most favored mandatory screening were also most likely to favor the mandatory reporting of AIDS cases to public health officials. They also had the least formal medical training (were not residency trained or board certified) and expressed the greatest apprehension regarding their own and their staff's preparedness and willingness to treat PWAs. A major implication of the findings is that family physicians and others who do mandatory testing should be provided opportunities, through residency training, board-certification preparation, or continuing medical education, to learn how to care for those patients they test who turn out to be seropositive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)835-840
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Attitude
  • Behavior
  • Clinical competence
  • Family practice
  • HIV seropositivity
  • Knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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