Strategies to increase HIV testing among men who have sex with men and transgender women: An integrative review



Men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (TGW) are disproportionately affected by HIV, with much higher incidence and prevalence rates than in the general population in different countries. There are several barriers to testing among MSM and TGW, such as low risk perception, anticipation of HIV-related stigma, discrimination of sexual orientation, in addition to difficulties related to care and access to health services. Therefore, analyzing the available evidence of the effectiveness of strategies for scaling up HIV testing among key populations is essential to point out potential knowledge gaps which may need to be addressed and develop public health policies to promote testing and early diagnosis of HIV infection.


An integrative review was carried out to evaluate strategies for scaling up HIV testing in these populations. Search strategy was performed on eight electronic databases, without language restriction. We included clinical trials, quasi-experimental studies, and non-randomized studies. Study selection and data extraction were both performed independently by pairs and disagreements were solved by a third revisor. The screening of the studies was carried out through the selection of titles/abstracts and the reading of the full texts of the pre-selected studies based on the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). Data extraction was performed using a structured form.


Thirty-seven publications referring to 35 studies were included, mostly being carried out in the United States of America and Australia. No studies were found evaluating disaggregated data on TGW. The studies were grouped into four types of intervention strategies: self-test distribution system (n = 10), organization of health services (n = 9), peer education (n = 6), and social marketing campaign (n = 10). Strategies that focused on the first three groups, combined or not, were more effective in increasing HIV testing among MSM.


Considering the diversity of interventions and the methodological heterogeneity of the included studies, strategies especially involving self-test distribution systems, associated with new information and communication technologies, should be evaluated in different communities and social contexts. Research evaluating specific studies on TGW population is still needed.


Rocha GM, Cândido RCF, de Carvalho NP, Carvalho EGA, Costa AAM, Machado IV, da Cruz Pimenta MP, de Paula Júnior JA, Guimarães MDC, de Pádua CAM




  • Population(s)
    • Men who have sex with men
    • Transgender communities
    • General HIV- population
  • Testing
    • Testing


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