WHO recommendation

In December 2016, the World Health Organisation released the Guidelines on HIV Self-Testing and Partner Notification. Under these guidelines, the Technical Working Group of the HIV Department reviewed the evidence from research conducted globally and has made the following recommendation:

Effective and safe

Key evidence has found that HIVST, when compared to standard HIV testing:

  • More than doubles uptake of HIV testing among men who have sex with men and male partners of pregnant or post-partum women.
  • Increases uptake of couples HIV testing among male partners of pregnant or post-partum women.
  • Nearly doubles frequency of HIV testing among men who have sex with men1.
  • Can result in identifying an equivalent or greater proportion of HIV-positive people.
  • Does not increase HIV risk behaviours (such as condomless anal intercourse) or the
    number of bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • Does not decrease uptake or frequency of testing for STIs.
  • Does not increase reported social harm, adverse events or behaviours.
  • Can perform as well as an HIV RDT used and interpreted by a trained health worker.
  • Can achieve acceptable sensitivity (80–100%) and specificity (95.1– 100%), especially using
    products that meet quality, safety and performance standards.

SOURCE: Guidelines on HIV self-testing and partner notification: Supplement to consolidated guidelines on HIV Testing Services, (December, 2016)

Article of HIV Self testing

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