The Use of HIV Self-tests to Promote Partner and Couples Testing: A Randomized Trial

This study explores whether the provision of oral HIV self-testing kits can facilitate HIV testing with sexual partners in a safe and effective manner. Since self-testing offers advantages of greater convenience and privacy over facility- or provider-based HIV testing, the pilot intervention being implemented has the potential to achieve higher uptake of HIV testing among male partners than the more common approach of encouraging pregnant and post-partum women to refer their partners for HIV testing and counseling at fixed sites. The study provides adult women in Kenya, recruited from antenatal care and post-partum clinics, with multiple oral self-tests, counsels them on how to use the tests and where to seek care if necessary, and encourages them to use self-tests for testing their current and potential sexual partners. Information is obtained from these index persons on how many sexual partners they offered the tests to, the receptivity of their sexual partners to using self-tests, and the incidence of any adverse events. The study assesses uptake of HIV testing among women’s partners within 3 months of the study and explores the experience of using HIV self-testing with partners, communication about self-testing and actions taken after self-testing, such as uptake of confirmatory testing and linkage to care.

Principal Investigator: Harsha Thirumurthy

Funding Source: 3ie

Grant Number: TW2.2.02 

Funding Period: 10/1/2014 - 12/31/2016

Primary Research Area: Population Health,Reproductive Health

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