Self-testing for HIV: a new option for HIV prevention?

Lancet Infect Dis. 2004 Oct;4(10):640-6. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(04)01150-8.


Self-testing has the potential to be an innovative component to community-wide HIV-prevention strategies. This testing method could serve populations who do not have access to standard voluntary counselling and testing services or because of privacy concerns, stigma, transport costs, or other barriers do not use facility-based, standard HIV testing. This paper reviews recent research on the acceptability, feasibility, and cost of rapid testing and home-specimen collection for HIV, and suggests that self-testing may be another important strategy for diagnosing HIV infection. Several research questions are posed that should be answered before self-testing is realised.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Counseling
  • Developed Countries
  • Developing Countries
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / economics
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic* / economics


  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic