HIV Seroprevalence in Emergency Department Patients: Portland, Oregon, 1988–1991

Jon Jui, Penny Stevens, Katrina Hedberg, Steve Modesitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objectives: In Portland, OR: 1) to determine the changes in HIV seroprevalence for ED patients from 1988 to 1991, 2) to define the characteristics of the HIV‐positive ED patient. 3) to determine the hepatitis B seroprevalence of HIV‐seropositive ED patients, and 4) to demonstrate the feasibility of an ED population‐based surveillance investigation. Methods: A prospective, multiyear observational, cross‐sectional, multicenter, population‐based seroprevalence study was performed using seven urban hospital EDs. Serologic testing for HIV and hepatitis B was performed on excess blood obtained from ED patients. Four sampling periods were used at each hospital at 14‐month inlervals starting June 1988 and ending December 1991. The blood specimens were obtained concurrently at all the participating hospitals. Results: Of 1,681 patients, 17 (1.0%) were HIV‐positive. The HIV seroprevalence rate was relatively stable over time: 0.5% (2/444) in 1988, 1.7% (7/396) in 1989, 1% (3/296) in 1990, and 0.9% (51545) in 1991. Most (94%) HIV patients were men, 100% were white, 81% were≥230 years old. Most (59%) of the HIV‐positive patients also were positive for hepatitis B core antibody. Many (76%) of the HIV‐positive patients were known to be positive by the emergency health care worker. Conclusion: HIV seroprevalence among the ED patients in Portland, OR, was generally stable from 1988 to 1991. Many HIV‐positive patients also were hepatitis‐B‐positive, thus representing a double occupational infectious disease risk to ED personnel. A significant minority (24%) of the HIV‐positive patients were not known to be HIV‐positive by the ED personnel. Universal precautions and hepatitis B immunization are paramount for reducing the risk of infectious disease due to exposure to body fluids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)773-783
Number of pages11
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1995


  • AIDS
  • HIV
  • emergency department
  • human immunodeficiency virus
  • occupational health
  • seroprevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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