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08.05.2020 | Original Paper

Using an HIV Self-test Kit to Test a Partner: Attitudes and Preferences Among High-Risk Populations

AIDS and Behavior
Sarah Iribarren, Cody Lentz, Alan Z. Sheinfil, Rebecca Giguere, Javier Lopez-Rios, Curtis Dolezal, Timothy Frasca, Iván C. Balán, Christine Tagliaferri Rael, William Brown III, Catherine Cruz Torres, Raynier Crespo, Irma Febo, Alex Carballo-Diéguez
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For those most at risk of contracting HIV, new strategies for preventing transmission and increasing testing are needed. As part of a multi-site, randomized, controlled trial, we explored attitudes and preferences among 272 HIV-negative men who have sex with men and HIV-negative transgender women using an HIV self-testing (HIVST) kit to test partners. Less than one quarter had previously self-tested with HIVST kits (21.7%) and few had partner-tested (4.8%). Most preferred gum swab (96%) over fingerprick tests (69%), but would prefer a blood test if it gave results for other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (86%). Five percent reported difficulties performing the test, four percent with storage, and 26% with portability. Ninety-three percent reported likelihood of using HIVST to test partners in future, but only 3% were willing to pay the current price. Efforts to improve HIVST uptake should focus on incorporating testing for other STIs, reducing test kit size, and reducing cost.

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