The acceptability and use of HIV self-testing among men who have sex with men in high-income countries


Key take-home messages
  • Men who have sex with men from high-income countries appear to be willing to use HIV self-tests.
  • The main benefits of HIV self-tests are convenience and privacy. The main barriers are concerns about administering the test, concerns about test accuracy, the lack of personal or professional support during testing and cost.
  • When given a choice of different testing scenarios, men were most willing to test when: the test was given at home, it was free and involved collecting blood rather than saliva; the results were immediate, anonymous and given by phone; and counselling was given in person. Of the seven attributes tested in the scenarios, three had a significant impact on decision to test: price, timeliness of results and location.
  • HIV self-tests appear to be an effective way to reach men who haven’t tested before or who do not test frequently. Self-testing may be a particularly useful option for men in smaller communities, younger gay men and men from cultural communities where homosexuality is not accepted.
  • Implementation strategies that may help overcome barriers to HIV self-testing include supervised self-testing and voucher programs that allow men to access tests at no cost.


The Ontario HIV Treatment Network: Rapid Response Service




  • Population(s)
    • Men who have sex with men
    • General HIV+ population
    • General HIV- population
  • Testing
    • Testing
  • Health Systems
    • Delivery arrangements


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