The preferred qualities of HIV testing and self-testing among men who have sex with men: a discrete choice experiment

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Journal Article
Value in Health, 2020, 23, (7), pp. 870-879
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Human immunodeficiency virus self-testing (HIVST) is a promising approach to improve HIV testing coverage. We aimed to understand HIV testing preferences of men who have sex with men (MSM) to optimize HIVST implementation.


Discrete choice experiments (DCEs) were conducted among HIV-negative MSM living in Australia and aged ≥18 years. Men completed 1 of 2 DCEs: DCETest for preferred qualities of HIV testing (price, speed, window period, test type, and collector of specimen) and DCEKits for preferred qualities of HIVST kits (price, location of access, packaging, and usage instructions). Latent class conditional logit regression was used to explore similarities (or "classes") in preference behavior.


Overall, the study recruited 1606 men: 62% born in Australia, who had an average age of 36.0 years (SD 11.7), and a self-reported median of 4 (interquartile range 2-8) sexual partners in the last 6 months. The respondents to DCETest was described by 4 classes: "prefer shorter window period" (36%), "prefer self-testing" (27%), "prefer highly accurate tests" (22%), and "prefer low prices" (15%). Respondents to DCEKits were described by 4 classes: "prefer low prices" (48%), "prefer retail access (from pharmacy or online stores)" (29%), "prefer access at sex venues" (15%), and "prefer to buy from healthcare staff" (12%). Preferences varied by when someone migrated to Australia, age, frequency of testing, and number of sexual partners.


A subset of MSM, particularly infrequent testers, value access to HIVST. Expanding access to HIVST kits through online portals and pharmacies and at sex venues should be considered.
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