HIV self-testing among MSM in the UK: a qualitative study of barriers and facilitators, intervention preferences and perceived impacts
Witzel et al.
Type of approach
Type of assistance
Key population: Men who have sex with men
Values and preferences
UNAIDS HIV prevalence (2017)
Six focus group discussions (FGD) were conducted with 47 men who have sex with men in London, Manchester and Plymouth. HIVST as a concept was discussed and participants were asked to construct their ideal HIVST intervention. Both oral fluid-based and blood-based kits were then demonstrated and participants commented on procedure, design and instructions. FGDs were recorded and transcribed verbatim, then analysed thematically.
Summary of findings
Convenience and confidentiality of HIVST was seen to facilitate testing. Issues with domestic privacy posed challenges for confidentiality. HIVST kits and instructions were thought to be unnecessarily complicated and did not cater to the required range of abilities. The window period was the most important element of HIVST, with strong preference for 4th generation testing. Kits which used a blood sample were more popular than those using saliva due to higher perceived accuracy, although phobia of needles and/or blood meant some would only access HIVST if a saliva sample option was available. A range of access options was important to maintain convenience and privacy. HIVST kits were assumed to increase frequency of testing, with concerns related to the dislocation of HIVST from sexual health care pathways and services.
HIVST was highly acceptable (n=n/a).
Willingness to pay
Willingness to pay details
Linkage to prevention, care and treatment
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