Term of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health

Committee Chair

Gulzar H. Shah

Committee Member 1

Levi Ross

Committee Member 2

Daniel F. Linder

Committee Member 3

Yun F (Wayne) Wang


This practice-based study aims to describe the profiles of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) indeterminate test results at a metropolitan academic, not-for-profit integrated health care system. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2012, estimated that 1.8 million individuals in the U.S. were infected with HIV. In 2013 the state of Georgia had a total of 77,654 individuals living with HIV/AIDS; an increase of 53% in HIV prevalence from 2010 according to data reported to CDC (2013). In 2010, the state of Georgia ranked sixth highest in the U.S. for total number of individuals living with HIV. Clearly, HIV remains a major public health issues, and therefore HIV testing is a vital element for effective HIV/AIDS prevention strategies. Therefore accurate detection of HIV infection is essential in minimizing the number of individuals with HIV infection that are undiagnosed. However, non-definitive HIV test results create a public health challenge especially when patients fail to return for confirmatory HIV testing. Some of the problems associated with non-definitive HIV test results include psychological impact for individuals who do not have a definitive HIV sero-diagnosis. Knowledge of patient profiles could be beneficial to healthcare professionals in providing targeted pre-test counseling, and beneficial to patients in obtaining timely linkage to care and support systems. This study used bivariate and multivariable logistic regression models for analyzing secondary sources of data to identify clinical and demographic factors associated with HIV indeterminate Western blot (WB) results. Pregnancy was found to be a strong predicator of WB indeterminate HIV test with female patients. Future research opportunities were recommended based on our findings and conclusions.