Oral supervised HIV self-testing in Malawi is acceptable and accurate

In this week's PLoS Medicine, Augustine Choko of the Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme, Malawi and colleagues assess the uptake and accuracy of home-based supervised oral HIV self-testing in Malawi, demonstrating the feasibility of this approach in a high-prevalence, low-income setting. Their findings indicate that there is strong community readiness to adopt self-testing alongside other HIV counseling and testing strategies in high HIV prevalence settings in urban Africa.

The authors say: "In settings where regular annual visits to every home by external VCT [voluntary counseling and testing] providers are not feasible, options based on self-testing may offer a more readily that can contribute towards Universal Access goals, provided that mechanisms can be identified to ensure that safety, accuracy, and post-test support are not unduly compromised."

In an accompanying Perspective, Rochelle Walensky and Ingrid Bassett (uninvolved in the study) of Massachusets General Hospital, Boston, USA suggest that linkage to care must be demonstrated before the success of oral HIV self-testing can be determined.

Walensky and Bassett comment: "Beyond making care accessible, the next phase of self-testing feasibility studies must evaluate the completion of the care cascade from testing to treatment to demonstrate true self-testing success."

More information: Choko AT, Desmond N, Webb EL, Chavula K, Napierala-Mavedzenge S, et al. (2011) The Uptake and Accuracy of Oral Kits for HIV Self-Testing in High HIV Prevalence Setting: A Cross-Sectional Feasibility Study in Blantyre, Malawi. PLoS Med 8(10): e1001102. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001102

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Gay couples could benefit from testing together

Mar 24, 2011

A number of American men who have sex with men are supportive of couples-based voluntary HIV counseling and testing (CVCT), in which couples receive counseling and their HIV test results together, according to a new study ...

HIV testing for children must be improved

Jul 20, 2010

National HIV programs should recognize that HIV testing and counseling systems designed for adults do not meet the needs of children. Therefore, according to Scott Kellerman from Management Sciences for Health, Virginia, ...

Testing times: Detecting HIV in resource-limited settings

Nov 29, 2007

Integrating HIV testing programmes into primary medical care can help achieve early diagnosis of HIV infection, even in relatively poor areas, research published in the online open access journal AIDS Research and Therapy ...

Recommended for you

Clinical trial of herpes vaccine now enrolling patients

22 hours ago

Creating a successful vaccine against two members of the family, the sexually transmitted herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and 2 (HSV-2), has proven to be challenging. A clinical trial being conducted by a ...

How we got ahead in HIV control

Jul 25, 2014

When AIDS first emerged in the early 1980s, HIV infection was a death sentence. But a global effort has ensured this is no longer the case for a growing number of people.

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

caringstd66
not rated yet Oct 08, 2011
Having HIV not the end of the world. Because of it, I have met so many wonderful people here in Michigan and around the country (even a few abroad) through PositiveMate.com. My life has become richer because of it.

To all of us who test positive stay strong and don't let anyone put you down. life goes on and we can continue to live a full and happy life.