The Particulars: Self-testing for HIV has the potential to overcome the privacy and convenience barriers of facility- and community-based testing. However, little is known about linkage to care after self-testing in areas with a high HIV prevalence.
Data Breakdown: Investigators conducting a study offered home HIV testing to participants who performed self-testing for HIV. Some who tested positive for HIV on the home assay could start treatment at home whereas others were assigned to a regional HIV clinic to initiate therapy. At 6 months, 2.2% of home-test patients started therapy, compared with a 0.7% rate among the clinic-test group. No significant difference was observed between groups in patients who were lost to follow-up.
Take Home Pearls: Giving patients with HIV the option of starting therapy at home appears to significantly increase the proportion of those who actually begin treatment. More research is needed to determine the optimal approach to initiating therapy.