Working across epidemics: comparing the acceptability of self-led testing options for HIV and hepatitis C virus among men who have sex with men and people who use drugs
Witzel et al.
Type of approach
Type of assistance
Key population: Men who have sex with men and people who inject drugs
Values and preferences
UNAIDS HIV prevalence (2017)
HIV self-testing and self-sampling acceptability was explored in 6 focus group discussions with 47 men who have sex with men in London, Plymouth and Manchester and 17 stakeholder interviews. Acceptability of self-testing and self-sampling for Hepatitis C was explored in 3 focus group discussions with 18 people who inject drugs and 5 stakeholder interviews in London. Qualitative data were transcribed and emergent themes were compared.
Summary of findings
Self-led testing options for both HIV and Hepatitis C were valued by key populations for providing convenience and confidentiality. Stakeholders praised the opportunity to reach new populations and increase testing frequency. HIVST and self-testing for Hepatitis C gave a high degree of control to the user, although key populations perceived these tests to have lower sensitivity than tests in clinical settings, especially if using oral fluid. Seeking care following a positive result after remote testing for HIV was not considered problematic for men who have sex with men, although some participants reported concern about whether other self-testers would link to care.
Willingness to pay
Willingness to pay details
Linkage to prevention, care and treatment