Acceptability and outcomes of distributing HIV self-tests for male partner testing in Kenyan maternal and child health and family planning clinics

AIDS. 2019 Jul 1;33(8):1369-1378. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000002211.


Background: Providing HIV self-tests to women for distribution to male partners may provide a unique opportunity to increase male partner and couples testing among women in HIV high-burden settings.

Methods: Between November 2017 and June 2018, we offered self-tests for at-home couples or partner HIV testing to HIV-uninfected women seeking routine maternal and child health and family planning services at eight facilities in Kisumu, Kenya. Women accepting self-tests were offered at least two self-tests (OraQuick) to take to their partner(s) with instructions on use. HIV self-testing (HIVST) outcomes were evaluated using available programmatic data.

Results: Overall, 3620 women were offered self-tests for at-home male partner HIV testing. The median age was 24 years (interquartile range 21-28) and 81% were in monogamous marriages. Overall, 1422 (39%) women reported having a partner of unknown HIV status, of whom 755 (53%) accepted self-tests. Among women with partners of unknown HIV status who declined self-tests (n = 667), 49% reported needing to consult their partner. Pregnant women were more likely to accept HIVST than nonpregnant women (prevalence ratio = 1.2, 95% confidence interval 1.0-1.4, P = 0.013). Self-testing outcomes were ascertained for 389 (44%) women who accepted self-tests. Among these women, 93% offered HIVSTs to their male partner; of these, 95% reported their male partners used the self-test and 99% used a self-test with their partner.

Conclusion: Among women attending routine maternal and child health and family planning services who had male partners of unknown HIV status, over half accepted self-tests for partner testing. Most women with outcomes ascertained reported that male partners accepted and used self-tests and that couples testing occurred.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine / methods*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Kenya
  • Male
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pregnancy
  • Self-Examination / methods*
  • Sexual Partners*
  • Young Adult