Journal Article

Use and acceptability of HIV self-testing among first-time testers at risk for HIV in Senegal

HIV Self-Testing (HIVST) aims to increase HIV testing coverage and can facilitate reaching the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets. In Senegal, key populations bear a disproportionate burden of HIV and report limited uptake of HIV testing given pervasive stigma and criminalization. In these contexts, HIVST may represent a complementary approach to reach populations reporting barriers to engagement with existing and routine HIV testing services. In this study, 1839 HIVST kits were distributed in Senegal, with 1149 individuals participating in a pre-test questionnaire and 817 participating in a post-test questionnaire. Overall, 46.9% (536/1144) were first-time testers and 26.2% (300/1144) had tested within the last year; 94.3% (768/814) reported using the HIVST, and 2.9% (19/651) reported a reactive result which was associated with first-time testers (p = 0.024). HIVST represents an approach that reached first-time testers and those who had not tested recently. Implementation indicators suggest the importance of leveraging existing community structures and programs for distribution.