Client-initiated, provider-initiated, or self-testing for HIV: what do South Africans prefer?
van Dyk et al.
Type of approach
Type of assistance
Values and preferences
UNAIDS HIV prevalence (2017)
19.2 [18.4 - 20.0]
Semi-structured questionnaires completed by a convenience sample of adults who were recruited by university students in South Africa.
Summary of findings
The majority of participants had been tested for HIV; 23.4% had never been tested. 6.1% preferred client-initiated counseling and testing, 11.6% preferred provider-initiated counseling and testing, and 22.3% preferred self-testing. Themes associated with the choice of testing model were patient autonomy, violation of human rights, confidentiality and privacy, fear of discrimination and stigma, confusion when being offered an HIV test for unrelated conditions, suspicion of government motives, and an aversion to mandatory face-to-face counseling. The vast majority (72.9%) said that none of the existing testing models was sufficient and that a new testing model that would motivate people to be tested was urgently needed.
Almost one-quarter (22.3%) of the participants preferred self-testing for HIV in the privacy of their homes, with the option of telephone counseling.
Willingness to pay
Willingness to pay details
Linkage to prevention, care and treatment