New HIV testing technologies in the context of a concentrated epidemic and evolving HIV prevention: qualitative research on HIV self-testing among men who have sex with men and transgender women in Yangon, Myanmar
Wirtz et al.
Type of approach
Type of assistance
Fingerstick/whole blood, Oral-fluid
Mixed: Men who have sex with men, transgender women and health care workers
Values and preferences
UNAIDS HIV prevalence (2017)
0.8 [0.6 - 0.9]
Formative, qualitative research including in-depth interviews and focus group discussions were conducted in Yangon, Myanmar to inform a subsequent HIV care continuum intervention, including HIVST, participants' opinions and perceptions about HIVST. Study period: June-September 2015.
Summary of findings
Participants recognized confidentiality and privacy as important benefits of HIVST. These major advantages were further supported by the opportunity to avoid stigma, convenience of self-testing (reduced need for transportation and time to go to clinics), and the availability of a pain-free testing option. Participants weighed these benefits against perceived disadvantages of HIVST, the majority of which centred on the perception that HIVST does not include counseling. Participants were concerned that potential lack of counseling would result in poor mental health outcomes, inadequate linkage to HIV care and surveillance, and reductions in disclosure of HIV status. Participants did not view these disadvantages as an impediment, but provided suggestions for future implementation of HIVST in Myanmar.
HIVST was not universally acceptable among participants.
Willingness to pay
Willingness to pay details
Some participants expressed concerns about poor mental health outcomes related to the use of HIVST, such as suicide (n=n/a).
Linkage to prevention, care and treatment
Some participants expressed concern about a potential deficiency of counseling and linkage to HIV care when using an HIVST (n=n/a).