Attitudes and Perceptions About Disclosing HIV and Syphilis Results Using Smarttest, a Smartphone App Dedicated to Self- and Partner Testing

AIDS Educ Prev. 2021 Jun;33(3):234-248. doi: 10.1521/aeap.2021.33.3.234.


We explored interest in disclosing test results through a smartphone app dedicated to self- and partner testing for HIV/syphilis. Fifty-nine cisgender men and transgender women each participated in an in-person survey and interview. We examined their interests in sharing test results by audience (e.g., partners, physicians) and by positive versus negative test result. Participants wanted the ability to share results, with notable interest in disclosing negative results to sexual partners and on social media and forwarding positive results to physicians. Participants envisioned smartphone sharing as a means to normalize testing, to notify partners of results, and to expedite linkage to care. Some questioned the authenticity of results shared by smartphone, while others voiced optimism that a personalized, authenticated app could ensure the security and veracity of results. Smartphone testing apps for HIV/syphilis may facilitate disclosure, partner notification, and linkage to care, but need to address concerns about the security and veracity of results.

Keywords: HIV/STI prevention; HIV/STI testing; home testing; linkage to care; self- and partner testing; smartphone app.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Contact Tracing / methods*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mobile Applications*
  • Perception
  • Qualitative Research
  • Sexual Partners*
  • Smartphone*
  • Syphilis / diagnosis*
  • Syphilis / prevention & control
  • Syphilis / psychology
  • Truth Disclosure*
  • Young Adult