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HIV Self-Testing Programs to Improve Testing Uptake and Increase Diagnoses

HIV self-testing (HIVST) refers to a person taking their very own sample for HIV testing after which appearing the test and interpreting the results themselves. An HIV self-test can use either oral fluid collected with a swab or blood samples gathered through a finger prick. An HIV self-test that makes use of a blood sample has been certified to be used in Canada.HIV self-testing has been included in programs models in a number of ways in distinctive countries across the world. This article will evaluation a few program models which have extended the usage of HIVST into diverse settings to attain diverse target populations.

The Virginia Department of Health carried out HIV self-testing programs centered on individuals who can not or are reluctant to get tested in conventional health care settings for a number of reasons, such as geographic isolation, stigma, a preference for privacy, etc. The Department marketed the provision of free self-test kits on Facebook. Interested people answered brief online eligibility surveys and acquired their self-test kits via way of means of mail together with literature approximately confirmatory trying out and linkage to care. Eligible customers could get hold of a check kit every 90 days.
Under a provide from the Arizona Department of Health, the community-based organization Aunt Rita’s Foundation administers statewide HIV self-testing programs. The organization markets the provision of self-test kits through social media, relationship apps, posters, billboards, and different means. Interested people go to a website, offer touch records, and get hold of a box in the mail that consists of a self-test package in addition to contact information for a linkage to care specialist, remedy records, condoms, and records about PEP and PrEP.

Studies by Emory researchers have highlighted the want for novel techniques for HIV testing among a few populations and furnished a proof base for tailored self-testing initiatives. For example, the 2019 American Men’s Internet Survey determined that 22% of gay, bisexual and other guys who’ve sex with guys (MSM) who use relationship apps said that that they’d by no means examined for HIV. The CDC-supported Evaluation of HIV Self-Testing Among Men who’ve Sex with Men Project (eSTAMP) demonstrated the success of home-primarily based totally HIV self-testing out with fast diagnostic assessments amongst MSM. This examination found that mail distribution of HIV self-tests efficaciously extended trying out frequency and analysis of HIV contamination among homosexual and bisexual guys and diagnosed infections among their social network members.

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels

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