HIV-test kits given to women boost testing in men
Monday, December 12, 2016
Providing HIV self-test kits to women seeking care in healthcare facilities could promote HIV testing among couples and male partners, a studysays. According to researchers from Kenya and the United States, men in Sub-Saharan Africa tend to have lower rates of HIV testing than women.
Thus, the researchers determined whether providing HIV self-test to women aged 18 to 39 years old who visited antenatal and post-pregnancy clinics in Kisumu, Kenya between June 2015 and January 2016 could encourage their partners to test for HIV.
According to the study published in PLOS Medicine last month (8 November), after three months of follow-up of 600 women divided into two groups, with half receiving the kits, partner testing rate was found to be higher in those who received the kits. 90 per cent used the kits given compared to 52 per cent in the group who did not receive the kits. Similarly, the couple testing rate was 75 per cent for those who received the kits and 33 per cent for the other group.
Harsha Thirumurthy, the study’ corresponding author from the US-based University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says that providing self-test kits to women could be significant in achieving high HIV testing rates in men who are often harder to reach through clinics or community-based strategies.