Using technology to support HIV self-testing among MSM

Curr Opin HIV AIDS. 2017 Sep;12(5):425-431. doi: 10.1097/COH.0000000000000400.


Purpose of review: Technology-based HIV self-testing (HST) interventions have the potential to improve access to HIV testing among gay, bisexual, and other MSM, as well as address concerns about HST use, including challenges with linkage to appropriate follow-up services. This review examines studies that use technology-based platforms to increase or improve the experience of HST among MSM.

Recent findings: Seven published studies and eight funded studies were included in this review. Comprehensive prevention interventions with free HST kit distribution and interventions that provide free HST kits and support the HST process address a greater number of barriers (e.g., access, correct use of testing kits, and correct interpretation of results) than studies that only distribute free HST kits through technology-based platforms.

Summary: By addressing HIV-testing barriers and specific HST concerns, these interventions address a critical need to improve first time and repeat testing rates among MSM. Additional research is needed to determine the efficacy of recent formative HST interventions. If proven efficacious, scale-up of these strategies have the potential to increase HIV testing among MSM via expanded HST uptake.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • Homosexuality, Male*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*