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Prevalence of testing and preference for self-testing in Malawi and Zambia: baseline data from the STAR (HIV self-testing in Africa) project

Neuman et al.

Publication year


Type of approach

Type of assistance


Study population
General population

Study design

Sample size

UNAIDS HIV prevalence (2017)

In 2016, prior to and following community-based distribution of HIVST kits, a population-based survey was conducted in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This report includes results of a baseline population-based survey in 22 rural communities in Malawi and 12 rural and peri-urban communities in Zambia. Analysis focuses on baseline prevalence of prior HIV testing and recent HIV testing (past 12 months), and preference for self-testing among prior testers.

Summary of findings
Baseline data collected from 5682 respondents in Malawi and 5878 respondents in Zambia. The age and sex distribution in both samples was similar (Malawi: median 31 years, IQR: 22-44, 57.2% female; Zambia: median 32 years, IQR: 23-44, 55.7% female). Prior testing was high in both countries, but less common among young men (<25 years) than among older men or women. Within the past 12 months, 53.1% of all respondents in Malawi had tested, but only 29.3% of young men. The pattern was similar in Zambia, with 66.1% of all respondents testing recently, and only 36.1% of young men. Before distribution of self-testing, self-testing was the preferred mode for next test for 20.9% of respondents in Malawi and 33.3% in Zambia.


Acceptability details
Before distribution of self-testing, self-testing was the preferred mode for next test for 20.9% of respondents in Malawi and 33.3% of respondents in Zambia.

Willingness to pay

Willingness to pay details




HIV positivity

Accuracy details

Social harm

Linkage to prevention, care and treatment

Study status

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