General public correctly administers, interprets HIV self-test
A whole blood HIV self-test was predominantly handled and interpreted correctly when used in the general public, according to data presented at the European AIDS Conference.
“In 2013, the French Health Authority approved the use of HIV self-tests in pharmacies for the general public,” the researchers wrote. “This screening tool will allow an increase in the number of screenings and a reduction in the delay between infection and diagnosis, thus reducing the risk of further infections.”
Previous research comparing the performance of five HIV self-test candidates demonstrated that a finger-stick whole blood assay exhibited high sensitivity and specificity. To examine the test’s usability, researchers enrolled 411 adult Parisians into a multicenter cross-sectional study between April and July 2014. Participants were placed into two groups to evaluate the general public’s capability to obtain a valid result (n = 264) and accurately interpret the test using a supplied chart (n = 147).
Self-tests were correctly administered by 99.2% of participants, according to the researchers, and telephone assistance was requested by 21.2%. Ninety-two percent reported the test to be easy to perform, and 93.5% did not have difficulty collecting a sufficient quantity of blood. Results were interpreted correctly by 98.1% of the second study group, with errors primarily related to tests that came back negative or indeterminate.
“The success rate of handling and interpretation of this self-test is very satisfactory, demonstrating its potential for use by the general public and its utility to increase the number of opportunities to detect HIV patients,” the researchers concluded. – by Dave Muoio
Prazuck T, et al. Abstract 226. Presented at: the European AIDS Conference; Oct. 21-24, 2015; Barcelona, Spain.
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