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How should HIV self-testing services be provided?
Roger Pebody, 2017-02-17 08:00:00
Chairing a session on HIV self-testing at the 2017 Conference on Retroviruses and
Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle this week, Joanne Stekler said
that much is already known about the subject – that self-testing is acceptable
to a broad range of people, has good uptake with people who have never tested
before and can identify new cases, but that the longer window period means that
self-testing is a less sensitive method for populations with a high incidence of HIV.
However there are many things we do not know yet, she said.
It’s unclear what impact HIV self-testing will have on the time that elapses between
infection and diagnosis, and on the course of the epidemic more broadly. We do
not know the best way to implement self-testing, how to reach people who would
not otherwise test, how to link testers to HIV medical care or PrEP, and how to
support STI testing alongside HIV self-testing.
Some of the research she introduced began to answer some of
these questions, with examples from Malawi and the United States.