Female sex workers often incorrectly interpret HIV self-test results in Uganda
Ortblad et al.
Type of approach
Type of assistance
Key population: Female sex workers
UNAIDS HIV prevalence (2017)
This study explored HIVST usability among female sex workers in Kampala, Uganda. Participants received an HIVST or provision of an exchangeable coupon at a health facility from a peer educator, after enrollment and three months later. A peer educator provided a demonstration (eight participants per group) on how to use an HIVST and how to interpret the results. At four month follow-up participants were asked to interpret standardized images of HIV self-test results, based on the images interpretation, this study also calculated the proportion of participants who incorrectly interpreted the results and calculated sensitivity and specificity. Study period: October to November 2016
Summary of findings
In total, 544 female sex workers were included, 58% (n=314/544) had 18-30 years, 86% (466/544) reported the ability to read and write, 53% (286/544) had completed up to nine years of education and 95% (517/544) had previously tested for HIV. 74% (401/544) of participants incorrectly interpreted at least one of the four images. Images of strong HIV-negative, strong HIV positive, inconclusive, and weak HIV-positive self-test results were incorrectly interpreted by 15% (80/544), 18% (97/544), 23% (126/543), and 61% (328/541) of participants, respectively.
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FSW-interpreted HIV self-test sensitivity was 82% (95% CI 79%-85%) and specificity was 85% (95% CI 82%-88%), which is also the percentage of participants that correctly interpreted the strong positive and strong negative HIV self-test results, respectively.
Linkage to prevention, care and treatment