HIV self-testing in Peru: questionable availability, high acceptability but potential low linkage to care among men who have sex with men and transgender women
Bustamante et al.
Type of approach
Type of assistance
Key population: Men who have sex with men, transgender women
Values and preferences
UNAIDS HIV prevalence (2017)
0.3 [0.3 - 0.4]
Researchers surveyed four pharmacy chains in Peru which advertised having an oral HIVST kit on the internet. The availability of kits was confirmed through site visits and discussion with pharmacy managers. Next, 192 men who have sex with men and transgender women from two sexually transmitted infections clinics participated in an interviewer-administered questionnaire to evaluate attitudes and potential uptake of HIVST. A picture and description of an HIVST kit was provided to participants prior to completing the survey.
Summary of findings
HIVST kits cost US$18.00 and were available to individuals 18 and up over-the-counter. Kits were the professional version not intended for individual sale and did not come with user instructions. The kit included a swab, a test tube rack, and information sheet in English and Spanish. Nearly 82% of participants were willing to self-test (95% transgender (TG) women and 78% men who have sex with men (MSM)). When asked about preferences 19% prefered blood test at a facility to self-testing (oral fluid). Willingness to self-test was a median of 4 times per year. Willingness to pay was around US$5.00. Only 69% of people said that they were somewhat likely to link to confirmatory testing. 78% of participants preferred getting the HIV self-test kit in a clinic or by mail. TG women preferred to get the HIV self-test kit at home (63%), whereas MSM preferred self-test kit delivered to a friend's house (46%).
Nearly 82% of all participants were willing to use the HIVST if offered for free (95% transgender women and 78% men who have sex with men).
Willingness to pay
US$ 5.00 - 6.67
Willingness to pay details
The amount participants would pay for the HIV self-test kit was US$5.00 (IQR 5 to 6.67).
Linkage to prevention, care and treatment
69% (n=121) said they were somewhat likely to link to confimatory test. Only 5% of men who have sex with men said they would not get a confirmatory test.