Availability and quality of online HIV self-test kits in China and the United States
Fengying et al.
Type of approach
Type of assistance
Fingerstick/whole blood, Oral-fluid
Values and preferences
UNAIDS HIV prevalence (2017)
Assesed the quality of online HIV counseling services was assessed by asking vendors about self-test counselor medical background and face-to-face HIV counseling experience. The number of self-test kits sold, number of comments, test methods, linkage to care, and prices were collected from the four largest e-commerce websites in the US and China (Amazon, Ebay, Taobao, and Jingdong).
Summary of findings
Identified 46 vendors that sold 38 brands of HIV or sexually transmitted diseases self-testing kits. All vendors were private companies or individual sellers. Largest Chinese e-commerce site reported a total of 17 396 self-testing kits sold. The largest US e-commerce site reported 489 792 ratings on self-test kits (no data on total kits sold). The price per HIV test kit ranged from US$ 19.00-46.00, with a mean of US$ 39.00. No Chinese vendors (0/7) and only 34% (13/38) of US vendors provided HIV confirmatory testing service. All seven Chinese vendors and 50% (19/38) of US vendors provided general advice directing individuals to the local public health authority without specific hotline or address information. Only 28% (2/7) of Chinese and 21% (8/38) of US customer service employees had medical backgrounds and none had face-to-face counseling experience.
Willingness to pay
Willingness to pay details
Linkage to prevention, care and treatment