Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Studies with a control or comparison group were eligible for inclusion in the review.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies evaluating voluntary HIV-CT interventions that included rapid, oral fluid, urine, home testing, or other methods of testing for the HIV, and which eliminated the need for a return visit for test results and were conducted in the USA, were eligible for inclusion. Studies that evaluated mandatory HIV-CT testing and studies set in perinatal or occupational settings were excluded. The included studies evaluated rapid testing (using the SUDS and Oraquick HIV-I Rapid Antibody Test), oral fluid enzyme-linked immunoassay (non-rapid), telephone post-test counselling and home collection tests. All but one study compared alternative tests with conventional serum enzyme-linked immunoassay; one study compared the delivery of test results by telephone versus in-person. The included studies varied with respect to study setting: sexually transmitted disease clinics, emergency departments, and HIV testing and outreach venues. All of the studies were set in urban areas of the USA.
Participants included in the review
Inclusion criteria were not specified in term of the participants. All of the primary studies were in people with risk behaviours for HIV, including men who have sex with men, injecting drug users, homeless youths and high-risk heterosexuals.
Outcomes assessed in the review
Studies that assessed receipt of HIV test results and reported (or made available) sufficient data to permit the calculation of an effect size were eligible for inclusion. In the review, the receipt of rapid test results was defined as the receipt of preliminary positive rapid test results. The review also assessed test acceptance, linkage into medical care and false-positive rapid test results.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
The authors did not state how the papers were selected for the review, or how many reviewers performed the selection.