What should the ideal HIV self-test look like? A usability study of test prototypes in unsupervised HIV self-testing in Kenya, Malawi, and South Africa
Peck et al.
Type of approach
Type of assistance
Fingerstick/whole blood, Oral-fluid
Health-care workers: Community-based mobilizers, provider referral, or study staff
UNAIDS HIV prevalence (2017)
Conducted formative usability research with participants who were lay users naive to HIVST. Participants were given five HIVST kit prototypes (1 oral fluid-based test kit and 4 fingerstick kits). Participants were instructed to perform the HIV self-test with the materials supplied. No additional instructions or coaching was provided. Participants were video-recorded conducting unassisted HIVST; users were observed to identify errors and challenges with performing an HIV self-test and interpreting the panel result. Participants did not receive a test result, but interpreted standardized result panels. Then participants were interviewed about their opinions and experience.
Summary of findings
Errors were common among users, with less than 25% of participants conducting all steps correctly and 47.3% of participants performing multiple errors, particularly in sample collection and transfer. Participants also had difficulty interpreting results. Authors suggest that in order to address these issues, HIVST kits need pictorial instructions that are easy to understand, simple sample collection with integrated test components, fewer steps, and results that are easy to interpret.
Willingness to test ranged from 83-90%.
Willingness to pay
Willingness to pay details
More than 80% of participants agreed that they were likely or very likely to use the test again if it were free and also indicated that they were willing to buy the test. Willingness to buy levels varied from 83% to 94%.
More than 80% of participants agreed that they were likely or very likely to use the test again if it were free and also indicated that they were willing to buy the test.
Linkage to prevention, care and treatment