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

October 4, 2011

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

Scientists divulge latest in HIV prevention

July 25, 2017
A far cry from the 1990s "ABC" campaign promoting abstinence and monogamy as HIV protection, scientists reported on new approaches Tuesday allowing people to have all the safe sex they want.

Girl's HIV infection seems under control without AIDS drugs

July 24, 2017
A South African girl born with the AIDS virus has kept her infection suppressed for more than eight years after stopping anti-HIV medicines—more evidence that early treatment can occasionally cause a long remission that, ...

Meds by monthly injection might revolutionize HIV care (Update)

July 24, 2017
Getting a shot of medication to control HIV every month or two instead of having to take pills every day could transform the way the virus is kept at bay.

Candidate AIDS vaccine passes early test

July 24, 2017
The three-decade-old quest for an AIDS vaccine received a shot of hope Monday when developers announced that a prototype triggered the immune system in an early phase of human trials.

Paris spotlight on latest in AIDS science

July 21, 2017
Some 6,000 HIV experts gather in Paris from Sunday to report advances in AIDS science as fading hopes of finding a cure push research into new fields.

Scientists elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies to HIV in calves

July 20, 2017
Scientists supported by the National Institutes of Health have achieved a significant step forward, eliciting broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) to HIV by immunizing calves. The findings offer insights for HIV vaccine ...

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.