An example of how rural clinical laboratories can introduce HIV testing cost effectively

Document Type


Publication Date



Small rural hospitals are often dependent upon reference laboratories for both routine and urgent results. With the recent availability of waived rapid HIV testing, Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital (Laurium, MI) evaluated bringing this test in-house. Aspirus Keweenaw was sending all urgent HIV testing to Marquette General Hospital, Marquette, MI. These urgent results are almost exclusively for testing a source patient after a health care provider (HCP) was exposed to blood. A HCP exposure includes percutaneous injury, mucus membrane contact, or contact to skin with a large quantity of source patient fluid. Implementing an in-house rapid HIV test allows physicians to correctly treat blood-exposed HCPs by not placing them on postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) for treatment of HIV. This rapid test saves the hospital and HCP financially and reduces the risk to the HCPs of toxic PEP. Aspirus Keweenaw is a critical care facility with a maximum patient load of 24 beds. With an annual average of 8 to 12 HCP needlesticks, a potential need for a rapid, in-house HIV test was recognized.

Publication Title

Laboratory Medicine