Tuberculosis screening among HIV-infected patients: tuberculin skin test vs. interferon-gamma release assay

J. W. Adams, C. J. Howe, A. C. Andrews, S. L. Allen, C. Vinnard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


National guidelines recommend screening for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) in all HIV-infected patients. Thus, the objective of this study was to measure protocol adherence to national guidelines regarding LTBI screening for HIV-infected patients entering care at an urban primary care clinic specializing in HIV care, identify clinical and other characteristics associated with adherence, and determine whether transitioning from the tuberculin skin test (TST) to the interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA) improved adherence. We conducted a retrospective study using protocol adherence to LTBI screening guidelines within twelve months of entering care at an HIV clinic as the primary outcome. Successful protocol adherence was defined as the placement and reading of a TST, performance of an IGRA, or a note in study clinic records documenting prior testing or treatment for tuberculosis in an outside setting. Multivariable modified Poisson regression models were used in analyses. Overall, 32% (n = 118/372) of patients received LTBI screening within twelve months of entering care. Protocol adherence to LTBI screening guidelines increased from 28% to 37% following the transition from TST to IGRA screening. IGRA screening [adjusted prevalence ratio: 1.45, 95% confidence limits: (1.07, 1.96)], male sex [1.47 (1.05, 2.07)], transfer patient status [1.51 (1.05, 2.18)], and greater than one year of clinic attendance [1.62 (1.06, 2.48)] were independently associated with protocol adherence. Among patients without prior LTBI screening or treatment, patients entering the clinic in 2013 under the IGRA screening protocol were more likely to be screened for LTBI compared to patients entering under the TST screening protocol (34.3% vs. 9.7%, p < 0.001). In conclusion, transitioning from TST to IGRA-based screening improved adherence to screening guidelines. However, further work on improving adherence to LTBI screening guidelines among HIV-infected patients is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1504-1509
Number of pages6
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Social Psychology


  • epidemiology
  • interferon-gamma release assays
  • latent tuberculosis infection
  • tuberculin test


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