Acceptability study on HIV self-testing among transgender women, men who have sex with men, and female entertainment workers in Cambodia: a qualitative analysis
Pal et al.
Type of approach
Type of assistance
Fingerstick/whole blood, Oral-fluid
Key population: Men who have sex with men, transgender women, and female workers
Values and preferences
UNAIDS HIV prevalence (2017)
0.6 [0.6 - 0.7]
This qualitative study was conducted in September 2015 in the towns of Phnom Penh city, Kampong Cham, Battambang and Siem Reap provinces. In each study site, two focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with each target group, totaling 24 FGDs (144 participants). Before each FGD, videos of oral and blood-based HIV self-tests were shown to participants. FGD transcripts were coded and analyzed for themes and patterns.
Summary of findings
Few participants had ever heard of HIV self-testing. All participants indicated they were interested in trying an HIV self-test, however female entertainment workers preferred blood-based self-testing. Overall, HIV self-testing was perceived as confidential, convenient, and high-tech. Barriers to HIV self-testing include cost, access, administraction technique of the self-test, embarrassment, and fear. The majority of participants indicated a need for counseling before and after taking an HIV self-test.
All participants in the study indicated they were willing to self-test for HIV.
Willingness to pay
Willingness to pay details
Transgender women and men who have sex with men preferred that HIV self-tests be available for free. However, an acceptable price ranged from US$0.50-$10.00. Some female entertainment workers stated they would not use a free HIV self-test kit because they believed it would be a poor-quality product.
Few social harms were reported in the study. However, some participants mentioned fear, embarrassment and discrimination as possible barriers to using HIV self-tests.
Linkage to prevention, care and treatment