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Usage and Acceptability of HIV Self-testing in Men who have Sex with Men in Hong Kong

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Whilst studies on over-the-counter HIV tests continue to accumulate after FDA’s approval of OraQuick Advance in 2012, few have focused on men who have sex with men (MSM) in Asian cities. An internet survey was conducted on 1,122 MSM in Hong Kong, revealing a low usage (6.1 %) and acceptability rate (43.8 %) on self-testing despite its availability in the market. Hierarchical logistic regression models showed that having received relevant information and users’ attitudes on self-testing were the determinants of usage and acceptability. These factors had greater effects than sexual behaviors and social-networking on MSM’s decision on self-testing. Majority of ever self-testers only repeated the self-test after a non-negative result, and overall only 26.6 % went for a formal test subsequent to the self-test. Concerns regarding the tests’ accuracy were expressed by respondents. In conclusion, appropriate and accessible information and evidence-based guidance are needed to incorporate self-testing into HIV prevention strategies targeting MSM.


A pesar de que los estudios sobre test de VIH de venta libre se han ido acumulando tras la aprovación de OraQuick Advance en 2012 por la FDA, pocos se han centrado en hombres que tienen sexo con hombres (HSH) en ciudades asiáticas. Una encuesta por internet se llevó a cabo en 1122 HSH en Hong Kong, revelando unos indices bajos de uso (6.1 %) y de tasa de aceptación (43.8 %) en estas pruebas de autodiagnóstico pese a su disponibilidad en el mercado de la región. Modelos de regresion logistica jerarquica mostraron que haber recibido la información pertinente y la actitud de los usuarios frente a la prueba de autodiagnóstico fueron los factores determinantes de su uso y aceptación. Esos factores tuvieron mayores efectos que las conductas sexuales y las redes sociales a la hora de que HSH tomaran la decisión de hacerse esta prueba. La mayoria de los usuarios de solo esta prueba sólo la repitieron tras obtener un resultado no negativo y en general sólo el 26.6 % se hicieron una prueba formal tras usar la prueba de autodiagnóstico. También se plantearon preocupaciones en cuanto a la exactitud de la prueba. Una información apropiada y accesible y una guía basada en la evidencia son necesarias para incorporar las pruebas de autodiagnóstico en las estrategias de prevención del VIH dirigidas a HSH.

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This project is sponsored by the AIDS Trust Fund, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (MSS222R). We thank all participating MSM for supporting the research project.


The contents of this article represent opinion of the authors only. They do not reflect the position of the AIDS Trust Fund. AIDS Trust Fund is not responsible for any claims, demands or liabilities whatsoever arising from or in connection with the use of any information contained in this article or the participation of the sponsored project.

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Correspondence to Shui Shan Lee.

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Wong, H.T.H., Tam, H.Y., Chan, D.P.C. et al. Usage and Acceptability of HIV Self-testing in Men who have Sex with Men in Hong Kong. AIDS Behav 19, 505–515 (2015).

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