Background and objective: A third of new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections occur among young people and the majority of young people living with HIV are in sub-Saharan Africa. We examined the strength of Nigerian youth preferences related to HIV testing and HIV self-testing (HIVST).
Methods: Discrete choice experiments were conducted among Nigerian youth (age 14-24 years). Participants completed one of two discrete choice experiments: (1) preferred qualities of HIV testing (cost, location of test, type of test, person who conducts the test, and availability of HIV medicine at the testing site) and (2) preferred qualities of HIVST kits (cost, test quality, type of test, extra items, and support if tested positive). A random parameter logit model measured the strength of preferences.
Results: A total of 504 youth participated: mean age 21 years (standard deviation 2 years), 38% male, and 35% had a higher than secondary school education. There was a strong preference overall to test given the scenarios presented, although male individuals were less likely to test for HIV or use HIVST kits. Youth preferred HIV testing services (with attributes in order of importance) that are free, blood-based testing, available in private/public hospitals or home, for HIV medications to be available in the same location as testing, and a doctor conducts the test. Participants preferred HIVST kits (with attributes in order of importance) that are available from community health centers, free, approved by the World Health Organization, include other sexually transmitted infection testing, have the option of an online chat, and oral-based HIVST.
Conclusions: The HIV home testing was equally preferred to testing in a hospital, suggesting a viable market for HIVST if kits account for youth preferences. Male youth were less likely to choose to test for HIV or use HIVST kits, underscoring the need for further efforts to encourage HIV testing among young male individuals.
© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.