User acceptability and feasibility of self-testing with HIV rapid tests

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2007 Aug 1;45(4):449-53. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e318095a3f3.


Objective: Because HIV rapid tests are considered for self-testing, this study aims to determine the user acceptability and feasibility of self-testing.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed on 350 systematically sampled participants across 2 Singapore HIV testing centers using the Abbott Determine HIV 1/2 blood sample rapid test (Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, IL). Participants were surveyed on knowledge of and attitudes toward rapid testing. To determine interrater agreement between self-testing and trained personnel testing, participants performed self-testing with visual instructions, followed by trained personnel testing. Ability to identify test outcomes was determined through interpretation of sample test results.

Results: Eighty-nine percent of participants preferred testing in private, but most indicated that confidential counseling by trained counselors was necessary. Almost 90% found the kit easy to use and instructions easy to understand. Nevertheless, 85% failed to perform all steps correctly, especially blood sampling, and 56% had invalid results because of incorrect test performance. Interrater agreement between results from self-testing and trained personnel testing had a kappa value of 0.28. Twelve percent could not correctly determine results using sample tests, including 2% and 7% who read positive and negative samples, respectively, incorrectly.

Conclusions: A substantial proportion could not perform self-testing or identify outcomes. Self-testing with the Determine HIV 1/2 kit in Singapore should be deferred.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Serodiagnosis*
  • Adult
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic*
  • Self Care*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors


  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic