Glob Health Sci Pract. 2022 Jun 29;10(3):e2100412. doi: 10.9745/GHSP-D-21-00412. Print 2022 Jun 29.
BACKGROUND: HIV self-testing (HIVST) is recommended by the World Health Organization, but implementation remains limited. This cross-sectional study evaluated HIVST uptake among female entertainment workers (EWs), men who have sex with men (MSM), and transgender women in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to inform national implementation.
METHODS: Between December 2018 and September 2019, individuals reached through community outreach or via online advertising were offered HIVST or referrals to facility-based testing. Participants opting for HIVST could choose between test kits employing oral-fluid or finger-prick-based sample collection; and between an “assisted” option in which outreach staff offered instructions and assistance and an “unassisted” option in which participants received a kit with instructions for use. A structured questionnaire was administered to facilitate descriptive statistics and tests for associations between participant characteristics and HIV testing preferences and outcomes.
RESULTS: Among 1,241 eligible individuals; 1,210 (97.5%) provided responses for analysis. Of these, 1,203 (99.4%) were recruited through outreach; 7 (0.6%) through online advertising. Among those recruited by outreach, 1,186 (98.6%) opted for assisted HIVST, and 1,065 (88.5%) opted for oral-fluid versus finger-prick testing. All individuals recruited through online advertisements opted for unassisted oral-fluid testing. Among all participants, 455 (37.6%) were MSM, 325 (26.9%) were transgender women, 430 (35.5%) were female EWs, and overall, 71.7% reported never previously testing for HIV. A total of 84 participants (6.9%) received reactive screening results and 81 (97.5%) were linked to treatment.
CONCLUSION: Uptake of HIVST was high, and most participants preferred oral-fluid over finger-prick-based testing. Many individuals (72%) who had never previously accessed HIV testing services participated in HIVST, with high rates of reactivity.