The acceptability of different modalities of HIV testing amongst men who have sex with men in the UK
Parkes et al.
Type of approach
Type of assistance
Key population: Men who have sex with men
Values and preferences
UNAIDS HIV prevalence (2017)
Six focus group discussions were conducted with 47 men who have sex with men from London, Plymouth and Manchester between July and November 2015. Different modalities of HIV testing were explored including genitourinary medicine clinics, general practitioners, community testing, HIVST and HIV self-sampling. Participants discussed the acceptability of each approach. The focus group discussions were audio recorded, transcribed and analysed using a thematic framework approach.
Summary of findings
Individuals preferred options for HIV testing. Modalities that were convenient, easily accessible and offered a high level of privacy and anonymity were preferred. Preference also existed for tests with high perceived accuracy and short window periods. Such tests were believed to be mainly offered by genitourinary medicine clinics and general practitioners. Tests with rapid results were preferred wherever possible. Participants valued having a choice of saliva or blood-based tests, especially for HIVST and HIV self-sampling. Modalities with associated cost and no immediate personal post-test support were seen as problematic. There was also concern that community testing, HIVST and HIV self-sampling neglect sexually-transmitted infection testing and that there could be sub-optimal linkage to HIV care.
Willingness to pay
Willingness to pay details
Participants preferred testing with no associated costs.
Linkage to prevention, care and treatment