Home-based self-sampling and self-testing for sexually transmitted infections: acceptable and feasible alternatives to provider-based screening in low-income women in São Paulo, Brazil

Sex Transm Dis. 2007 Jul;34(7):421-8. doi: 10.1097/01.olq.0000245958.34961.27.


Objective: The objective of this study was to determine whether home-based screening for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is acceptable, feasible, and increases the proportion of women screened among low-income women in São Paulo, Brazil.

Study design: Eight hundred eighteen women were randomized to receive a clinic appointment or a kit for home-based STI self-collection and testing. All participants collected 2 vaginal swabs, one for polymerase chain reaction detection of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis and another for a self-conducted rapid test for trichomoniasis.

Results: Slightly more women responded to the initiative within 2 weeks in the home group (80%) than in the clinic group (76%) with younger women showing improved response to home-based screening. Ninety-four percent of home group participants successfully completed self-collection and self-testing on their first attempt.

Conclusions: Home-based self-collection and self-testing was acceptable, feasible, and resulted in a slightly higher response rate. Home sampling and testing provide promising alternatives to clinic-based STI screening across diverse contexts.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Brazil
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / isolation & purification
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • DNA, Protozoan / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / isolation & purification
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Poverty
  • Self-Examination*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / microbiology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / parasitology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Trichomonas vaginalis / isolation & purification
  • Vaginal Smears*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA, Protozoan