Undetectable = Untransmittable (U = U) Messaging Increases Uptake of HIV Testing Among Men: Results from a Pilot Cluster Randomized Trial

AIDS Behav. 2021 Oct;25(10):3128-3136. doi: 10.1007/s10461-021-03284-y. Epub 2021 May 31.


HIV testing coverage in sub-Saharan Africa is lower among men than women. We investigated the impact of a peer-delivered U = U (undetectable equals untransmittable) message on men's HIV testing uptake through a cluster randomised trial with individual mobile clinic days as unit of randomisation. On standard of care (SOC) days, peer promoters informed men about the availability of HIV testing at the mobile clinic. On intervention days, peer promoters delivered U = U messages. We used logistic regression adjusting for mobile clinic location, clustering by study day, to determine the percentage of invited men who tested for HIV at the mobile clinic. Peer promoters delivered 1048 invitations over 12 days. In the SOC group, 68 (13%) of 544 men invited tested for HIV (3, 4.4% HIV-positive). In the U = U group, 112 (22%) of 504 men invited tested for HIV (7, 6.3% HIV-positive). Men in the U = U group had greater odds of testing for HIV (adjusted odds ratio = 1.89, 95% CI 1.21-2.95; p = 0.01). Tailored, peer-delivered messages that explain the benefits of HIV treatment in reducing HIV transmission can increase men's HIV testing uptake.

Keywords: HIV; HIV testing; Men; South Africa; U=U.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Africa South of the Sahara
  • Female
  • HIV Infections* / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections* / prevention & control
  • HIV Testing*
  • Humans
  • Male