HIV self-testing has the potential to increase testing frequency and uptake. This pilot study assessed the feasibility and acceptability of HIV self-testing in a sample of sexually active men who have sex with men (MSM) in Peru and Brazil. Participants were trained to use a whole blood rapid HIV self-test and instructed to use the self-test monthly during this three-month study. Test acceptability was measured with self-reported use of the test at the one-month and three-month study visits, and test feasibility was assessed by direct observation of self-test administration at the final three-month visit. A total of 103 participants (52 in Peru and 51 in Brazil) were enrolled, and 86% completed the three-month study. Nearly all participants reported use of the self-test (97% at one-month and 98% at three-month visit), and all participants correctly interpreted the self-administered test results when observed using the test at the final study visit. HIV self-testing with a blood-based assay was highly acceptable and feasible. HIV self-testing may have the potential to increase testing frequency and to reach high-risk MSM not currently accessing HIV-testing services.
Keywords: AIDS; HIV; MSM; South America; diagnosis; homosexual; men; screening; self-testing; viral disease.
© The Author(s) 2015.