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

October 4, 2011, Public Library of Science

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."

Explore further: Getting to the HIV test: It takes a village

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

Related Stories

Getting to the HIV test: It takes a village

May 5, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- If you want to improve HIV testing rates in remote rural areas, get the community involved, says UCLA's Thomas Coates, who has directed a new study examining HIV testing programs in communities in Africa ...

Recommended for you

HIV-1 genetic diversity is higher in vaginal tract than in blood during early infection

January 18, 2018
A first-of-its-kind study has found that the genetic diversity of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is higher in the vaginal tract than in the blood stream during early infection. This finding, published in PLOS ...

War in Ukraine has escalated HIV spread in the country: study

January 15, 2018
Conflict in Ukraine has increased the risk of HIV outbreaks throughout the country as displaced HIV-infected people move from war-affected regions to areas with higher risk of transmission, according to analysis by scientists.

Researchers offer new model for uncovering true HIV mortality rates in Zambia

January 12, 2018
A new study that seeks to better ascertain HIV mortality rates in Zambia could provide a model for improved national and regional surveillance approaches, and ultimately, more effective HIV treatment strategies.

New drug capsule may allow weekly HIV treatment

January 9, 2018
Researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women's Hospital have developed a capsule that can deliver a week's worth of HIV drugs in a single dose. This advance could make it much easier for patients to adhere to the strict schedule ...

New long-acting, less-toxic HIV drug suppresses virus in humanized mice

January 8, 2018
A team of Yale researchers tested a new chemical compound that suppresses HIV, protects immune cells, and remains effective for weeks with a single dose. In animal experiments, the compound proved to be a promising new candidate ...

Usage remains low for pill that can prevent HIV infection

January 8, 2018
From gritty neighborhoods in New York and Los Angeles to clinics in Kenya and Brazil, health workers are trying to popularize a pill that has proven highly effective in preventing HIV but which—in their view—remains woefully ...

1 comment

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.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.