HIV self-testing among men who have sex with men in China: a qualitative implementation research study

J Virus Erad. 2019 Nov 4;5(4):220-224.


Background: HIV self-testing (HIVST) may expand HIV testing, but there have been few pilot programmes among men who have sex with men (MSM). This purpose of this study was to evaluate HIVST implementation among MSM in China using qualitative methods.

Methods: We undertook semistructured interviews among MSM and those organising HIVST programmes for MSM. Purposive sampling method was used to ensure men with different HIV serostatuses, ages and HIVST frequencies were included. Men were recruited from MSM community-based organisations and a local HIV clinic. An implementation science framework was used to interpret the findings. Two individuals used a standard code-based methodology to identify themes.

Results: Forty-two MSM and six stakeholders were interviewed. Our data showed many MSM and stakeholders preferred HIVST to facility-based testing. Most men reported that HIVST empowered MSM and informed sexual decision making. Many men noted that decreasing the HIVST price may increase demand. Some men noted that HIVST could be scaled up through social media and by modifying bulky packaging. Minimal adverse events were reported.

Conclusions: HIVST may expand HIV testing and promote empowerment of MSM. Minimal adverse outcomes were noted, but further implementation research is needed.

Keywords: China; HIV; MSM; implementation; self-testing.

Publication types

  • Editorial