Understand HIV Tests & Results

I’m a hands-on person so when they demonstrated it, I saw exactly how to have this test done.

– Medical Assistant

Cover All the Details

Staff need to understand many aspects of the actual test-taking:

Differences in test types
How to take proper samples
How to bill
How to read rapid results
How to provide results to patients


For more on test types, see Determine Optimal Test Types. For more on providing results, see Handle Results as a Team. When discussing topics such as notifying patients about positive results, be sure staff know where they can turn for back-up or if they have questions while working with a patient.

Provide Information in a Variety of Formats

There are different approaches to training staff on this material:

Bring in representatives from test manufacturers to explain the details of test procedures. They’re the real experts and are usually quite willing to help more people use their tests.
Some of the details around testing and talking to patients about results are best handled through hands-on practice. For example, have staff practice taking samples or speaking to mock patients about results.