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Where would gay men prefer to take their next HIV test?
Roger Pebody, 2016-09-15 08:20:00

Among English gay men who have never previously taken a test for HIV, self-testing and self-sampling are the most popular options for a future HIV test, but a significant proportion would use a sexual health clinic, the best-established site of HIV testing in the country. Men with higher levels of sexual risk (who tend to test more often) would be most likely to return to a sexual health clinic, but there is interest in self-testing too.

The data are published this week in BMJ Open. Some of the same researchers have also published a qualitative study this week in PLOS One on the acceptability of self-testing, highlighting the importance of test accuracy when comparing different self-testing kits.

The first set of findings come from the 2014 Gay Men’s Sex Survey, focusing on men living in England who had never been diagnosed with HIV. There were 14,317 men included in the analysis.

While three-quarters of men had previously taken an HIV test, the researchers were particularly interested in men who did not test regularly. Analyses focused on the 26% of respondents who had never taken an HIV test and the 46% of respondents who had not tested in the past year.