, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 731-737
Date: 05 May 2009

Use of a Rapid HIV Home Test to Screen Sexual Partners: An Evaluation of its Possible Use and Relative Risk

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We estimated the HIV risk reduction that could be attained by using a rapid HIV home test (HT) to screen sexual partners versus using condoms in different proportions of anal intercourse (AI) occasions among men who have sex with men (MSM). Special attention was paid to the role of the window period during which infected cases go undetected. Our results show that if MSM engage in AI without condoms following a non-reactive HT result, they have lower chances of becoming infected by someone still in the window period than by following heuristics and using condoms inconsistently. For MSM who do not use condoms, use of HT as a screening device may be a useful risk reduction strategy. This advantage increases with higher HIV population prevalence. With higher HIV incidence, this strategy will not provide any advantage if condoms are used in as little as one out of four occasions.