HIV self-testing in Italy
Orchi et al.
Type of approach
Type of assistance
Key population: Men who have sex with men
UNAIDS HIV prevalence (2017)
0.4 [0.3 - 0.4]
Retrospective study analyzing data on new HIV diagnoses observed in the first six months following the introduction of HIVST kits in Italy in the largest public HIV counselling and testing centre of the city of Rome. Data about socio-demographic characteristics, laboratory data, HIV exposure category, previous HIV tests and clinical history, including information on other sexually transmitted infections was collected. Study period: 1 December 2016-31 May 2017.
Summary of findings
During the first five months after the introduction of HIVST in Italy, 23% (9/39) of new people diagnosed with HIV in the centre had a first reactive result with HIVST. All nine were men who have sex with men, born in Italy, median age of 29 years, and their first CD4 cells count, available for seven men within 1 month of diagnosis, was in all instances above 350 cells/mmc. 66.7% (6/9) of participants reported no previous HIV testing. Sales data for HIVST kits in Italy, available for the first five months after marketing, show a progressive decline from 6347 kits sold in December 2016 to 3049 in April 2017.
Willingness to pay
Willingness to pay details
Linkage to prevention, care and treatment
All nine HIV-positives (100%), were linked to care. This is a retrospective study, some participants that self-tested may not have linked to care.