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What do key stakeholders think about HIV self-testing? Analyses of quantitative and qualitative findings from a Canadian national survey


Author
Pant Pai et al.

Publication year
2016

Country

Type of approach
Community-based

Type of assistance
n/a

Specimen
n/a

Study population
Health-care workers: Clinical providers, public health and laboratory professionals, researchers, community-based organizations

Study design
Values and preferences

Sample size
183

UNAIDS HIV prevalence (2017)
0.01

Methodology
The CIHR REACH 2.0 POCT working group disseminated and online survey via email to stakeholders (clinical providers, public health and laboratory professionals, researchers, community-based organizations) involved in HIV testing across Canadian provinces. Questions covered the perceived needs, benefits, challenges, concerns, and areas for action. Open-ended questions and comments were analyzed via qualitative content analysis, accommodating a mixed-methods, respondent-informed approach.

Summary of findings
65% of respondents felt that self-tests should be made available to their clients, conditional on the context of usage, clientele, post-test counseling and care. 71% of respondents felt that investment in self-testing is necessary to reach the undiagnosed, and 72% agreed that self-test instructions require improvements for linkages to treatment and counseling. Participants highlighted concerns about test accuracy, execution, costs, and misinterpretation of results. Emotional instability and coping mechanisms in the absence of counselors were perceived as potential harms. 60% of respondents agreed that clients who self-test false-negative will be less likely to engage in care. 58% felt that operationalizing linkage to care was the largest challenge associated with HIV self-testing. 42% of respondents felt their clients would be open to using innovative internet and mobile phone applications for linkages; but some may lack access to mobile devices. Respondents (21%) urged for timely action and approvals for HIV self-tests.

Acceptability
0.65

Acceptability details
65% of respondents felt that self-tests should be made available to their clients, conditional on the context of usage, clientele, post-test counseling and care.

Willingness to pay
n/a

Willingness to pay details
n/a

Sensitivity
n/a

Specificity
n/a

Concordance
n/a

HIV positivity
n/a

Accuracy details
n/a

Social harm
Participants highlighted concerns about test accuracy, execution, costs, and misinterpretation of results. Emotional instability and coping mechanisms in the absence of counselors were perceived as potential harms.

Linkage to prevention, care and treatment
60% of respondents agreed that clients who self-test false-negative will be less likely to engage in care. 58% felt that operationalizing linkage to care was the largest challenge associated with HIV self-testing. 42% of respondents felt their clients would be open to using innovative internet and mobile phone applications for linkages, but some may lack access to mobile devices.


Study status
Completed