Men who have sex with men and transgender women who had multiple sexual partners in the prior 3 months participated in ISUM, a randomized, controlled trial of self- and partner-testing in New York City and San Juan, PR. Only 2% of screened participants were ineligible to enroll due to anticipating they would find it very hard to avoid or handle violence. The intervention group received free rapid HIV self-test kits. During the trial, 114 (88%) of intervention participants who were assessed at follow-up used self-tests with at least one potential partner. Only 6% of participants who asked a partner in person to test reported that at least one of their partners got physically violent, some in the context of sex work. In total, 16 (2%) partners reacted violently. Post-trial, only one participant reported finding it very hard to handle violence, and none found it very hard to avoid potential violence.
Hombres que tienen sexo con hombres y mujeres transgénero que habían tenido múltiples parejas sexuales en los tres meses previos participaron en “Te lo enseño”, un ensayo aleatorio controlado del uso del autotest con parejas sexuales en Nueva York y San Juan, PR. Sólo un 2% de los participantes resultó inelegible para inscribirse debido a anticipar que les sería muy difícil evitar o manejar una situación violenta. El grupo de intervención recibió gratis los autotest rápidos para el VIH. Durante el ensayo, 114 (88%) de los individuos asignados a la intervención que fueron evaluados en el seguimiento usaron el autotest con al menos una posible pareja sexual. Sólo un 6% de los participantes que le pidieron en persona a una pareja que se haga el test reportó que al menos una de sus parejas se puso violento a causa del pedido, algunos en el contexto del trabajo sexual. En total, 16 (2%) de las parejas tuvieron una reacción violenta. Después del ensayo, sólo un participante reportó que le fue muy difícil manejar la violencia y ninguno reportó dificultades para evitar la posible violencia.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Consolidated guidelines on HIV testing services. World Health Organization, July 2015. https://www.who.int/hiv/pub/guidelines/hiv-testing-services/en/.
Guidelines on HIV self-testing and partner notification: Supplement to consolidated guidelines on HIV testing services. World Health Organization, December 2016. https://www.who.int/hiv/pub/self-testing/hiv-self-testing-guidelines/en/.
Volk JE, Lippman SA, Grinsztejn B, Lama JR, Fernandes NM, Gonzales P, Hessol NA, Buchbinder S. Acceptability and feasibility of HIV self-testing among men who have sex with men in Peru and Brazil. Int J STD AIDS. 2016;27(7):531–6.
Krause J, Subklew-Sehume F, Kenyon C, Colebunders R. Acceptability of HIV self-testing: a systematic literature review. BMC Public Health. 2013;13(1):735.
Pal K, Ngin C, Tuot S, Chhoun P, Ly C, Chhim S, Luong MA, Tatomir B, Yi S. Acceptability study on HIV self-testing among transgender women, men who have sex with men, and female entertainment workers in Cambodia: a qualitative analysis. PLoS ONE ONE. 2016;11(11):e0166129.
Daniels J, Marlin R, Medline A, Wilson G, Young S, Rosengren L, Huang E, Klausner JD. Getting HIV self-test kits into the home for young African American MSM in Los Angeles: a qualitative report. J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. 2018;29(1):115–9.
Figueroa C, Johnson C, Verster A, Baggaley R. Attitudes and acceptability on HIV self-testing among key populations: a literature review. AIDS Behav. 2015;19(11):1949–65.
Ren XL, Wu ZY, Mi GD, McGoogan JM, Rou KM, Zhao Y, Zhang N. HIV care-seeking behaviour after HIV self-testing among men who have sex with men in Beijing, China: a cross-sectional study. Infect Dis Poverty. 2017;6(1):112.
Chiu CJ, Young SD. Correlates of requesting home HIV self-testing kits on online social networks among African-American and Latino men who have sex with men. AIDS Care. 2016;28(3):289–93.
Schnall R, John RM, Carballo-Dieguez A. Do high-risk young adults use the HIV self-test appropriately? Observations from a think-aloud study. AIDS Behav. 2016;20(4):939–48.
Oldenburg CE, Chanda MM, Ortblad KF, Mwale M, Chongo S, Kamungoma N, Kanchele C, Fullem A, Moe C, Barresi LG, Harling GD. Effect of HIV self-testing on the number of sexual partners among female sex workers in Zambia. AIDS. 2018;32(5):645.
Yan H, Yang H, Raymond HF, Li J, Shi LE, Huan X, Wei C. Experiences and correlates of HIV self-testing among men who have sex with men in Jiangsu province. China AIDS Behav. 2015;19(3):485–91.
Rosengren AL, Huang E, Daniels J, Young SD, Marlin RW, Klausner JD. Feasibility of using Grindr™ to distribute HIV self-test kits to men who have sex with men in Los Angeles. California Sex Health. 2016;13(4):389–92.
Stevens DR, Vrana CJ, Dlin RE, Korte JE. A global review of HIV self-testing: themes and implications. AIDS Behav. 2018;22(2):497–512.
Makusha T, Knight L, Taegtmeyer M, Tulloch O, Davids A, Lim J, Peck R, van Rooyen H. HIV self-testing could “revolutionize testing in South Africa, but it has got to be done properly”: perceptions of key stakeholders. PLoS ONE ONE. 2015;10(3):e0122783.
Frye V, Wilton L, Hirshfield S, Chiasson MA, Usher D, Lucy D, McCrossin J, Greene E, Koblin B (2015) All About Me Study Team “Just because it's out there, people aren't going to use it”. HIV self-testing among young, Black MSM, and transgender women. AIDS Patient Care STDs 29(11):617–624.
Witzel TC, Rodger AJ, Burns FM, Rhodes T, Weatherburn P. HIV self-testing among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the UK: a qualitative study of barriers and facilitators, intervention preferences and perceived impacts. PLoS ONE ONE. 2016;11(9):e0162713.
Conserve DF, Alemu D, Yamanis T, Maman S, Kajula L. “He told me to check my health”: a qualitative exploration of social network influence on men’s HIV testing behavior and HIV self-testing willingness in Tanzania. Am J Mens Health. 2018;12(5):1185–96.
Katz DA, Golden MR, Hughes JP, Farquhar C, Stekler JD. HIV self-testing increases HIV testing frequency in high-risk men who have sex with men: a randomized controlled trial. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2018;78(5):505–12.
Kojima N, Klausner JD. Accelerating epidemic control: the role of HIV self-testing. Lancet HIV. 2018;5(6):e266–e267267.
Bavinton BR, Brown G, Hurley M, Bradley J, Keen P, Conway DP, Guy R, Grulich AE, Prestage G. Which gay men would increase their frequency of HIV testing with home self-testing? AIDS Behav. 2013;17(6):2084–92.
Greacen T, Kersaudy-Rahib D, Le Gall JM, Lydié N, Ghosn J, Champenois K. Comparing the information and support needs of different population groups in preparation for 2015 government approval for HIV self-testing in France. PLoS ONE ONE. 2016;11(3):e0152567.
Flowers P, Riddell J, Park C, Ahmed B, Young I, Frankis J, Davis M, Gilbert M, Estcourt C, Wallace L, McDaid LM. Preparedness for use of the rapid result HIV self-test by gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM): a mixed methods exploratory study among MSM and those involved in HIV prevention and care. HIV Med. 2017;18(4):245–55.
Pai NP, Sharma J, Shivkumar S, Pillay S, Vadnais C, Joseph L, Dheda K, Peeling RW. Supervised and unsupervised self-testing for HIV in high-and low-risk populations: a systematic review. PLoS Med. 2013;10(4):e1001414.
Zhang C, Li X, Brecht ML, Koniak-Griffin D. Can self-testing increase HIV testing among men who have sex with men: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS ONE ONE. 2017;12(11):e0188890.
Wong HT, Tam HY, Chan DP, Lee SS. Usage and acceptability of HIV self-testing in men who have sex with men in Hong Kong. AIDS Behav. 2015;19(3):505–15.
Lightfoot MA, Campbell CK, Moss N, Treves-Kagan S, Agnew E, Dufour MS, Scott H, Sa'id AM, Lippman SA. Using a social network strategy to distribute HIV self-test kits to African American and Latino MSM. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2018;79(1):38–45.
Gichangi A, Wambua J, Mutwiwa S, Njogu R, Bazant E, Wamicwe J, Wafula R, Vrana CJ, Stevens DR, Mudany M, Korte JE. Impact of HIV self-test distribution to male partners of ANC clients: results of a randomized controlled trial in Kenya. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2018;79(4):467.
Wood BR, Ballenger C, Stekler JD. Arguments for and against HIV self-testing. HIV/AIDS. 2014;6:117.
Home STI Test Kit with HIV for Women. Self diagnostics. https://selfdiagnostics.com/female-sti-home-test-with-hiv/.
Brown AN, Djimeu EW, Cameron DB. A review of the evidence of harm from self-tests. AIDS Behav. 2014;18(4):445–9.
Choko AT, MacPherson P, Webb EL, Willey BA, Feasy H, Sambakunsi R, Mdolo A, Makombe SD, Desmond N, Hayes R, Maheswaran H. Uptake, accuracy, safety, and linkage into care over two years of promoting annual self-testing for HIV in Blantyre, Malawi: a community-based prospective study. PLoS Med. 2015;12(9):e1001873.
Masters SH, Agot K, Obonyo B, Mavedzenge SN, Maman S, Thirumurthy H. Promoting partner testing and couples testing through secondary distribution of HIV self-tests: a randomized clinical trial. PLoS Med. 2016;13(11):e1002166.
Chanda MM, Ortblad KF, Mwale M, Chongo S, Kanchele C, Kamungoma N, Fullem A, Dunn C, Barresi LG, Harling G, Bärnighausen T. HIV self-testing among female sex workers in Zambia: a cluster randomized controlled trial. PLoS Med. 2017;14(11):e1002442.
Carballo-Diéguez A, Frasca T, Balan I, Ibitoye M, Dolezal C. Use of a rapid HIV home test prevents HIV exposure in a high risk sample of men who have sex with men. AIDS Behav. 2012;16(7):1753-60. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-012-0274-2.
Carballo-Diéguez A, Giguere R, Balán IC, Brown W, Dolezal C, Leu CS, Lopez Rios J, Sheinfil AZ, Frasca T, Rael CT, Lentz C, Crespo R, Iribarren S, Cruz Torres C, Febo I. Use of rapid HIV self-test to screen potential sexual partners: results of the ISUM study. AIDS Behav. 2019;18:1-13. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-019-02763-7.
Iribarren SJ, Ghazzawi A, Sheinfil AZ, Frasca T, Brown III W, Lopez-Rios J, Rael CT, Balán IC, Crespo R, Dolezal C, Giguere R, Carballo-Diéguez A. Mixed-method evaluation of social media-based tools and traditional strategies to recruit high-risk and hard-to-reach populations into an HIV prevention intervention study. AIDS Behav. 2018;22(1):347-57. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-017-1956-6.
Brown III W, Sheinfil A, Lopez-Rios J, Giguere R, Dolezal C, Frasca T, Lentz C, Balán IC, Rael C, Cruz Torres C, Crespo R, Febo I, Carballo-Diéguez A. Methods, system errors, and demographic differences in participant errors using daily text message-based short message service computer-assisted self-interview (SMS-CASI) to measure sexual risk behavior in a RCT of HIV self-test use. MHealth. 2019;5:17. https://doi.org/10.21037/mhealth.2019.06.01.
Giguere R, Lopez-Rios J, Frasca T, Lentz C, Balán IC, Dolezal C, Rael CT, Brown W III, Sheinfil AZ, Cruz Torres C, Crespo R, Febo I, Carballo-Diéguez A. Use of HIV self-testing kits to screen clients among transgender female sex workers in New York and Puerto Rico. AIDS Behav. 2020;24(2):506–15. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-019-02730-2.
Rael CT, Giguere R, Lopez-Rios J, Lentz C, Balán IC, Sheinfil A, Dolezal C, Brown III W, Frasca T, Cruz Torres C, Crespo R, Iribarren S, Leu CS, Febo I, Carballo-Diéguez A. Transgender women’s experiences using a home HIV-testing kit for partner-testing. Under review.
Balán IC, Lopez-Rios J, Giguere R, Lentz C, Dolezal C, Cruz Torres C, Brown W III, Crespo R, Sheinfil A, Rael CT, Febo I, Carballo-Diéguez A. Then we looked at his results: Men who have sex with men from New York City and Puerto Rico report their sexual partner’s reactions to receiving reactive HIV self-test results. Under review.
Lentz C, Iribarren S, Giguere R, Conserve D, Dolezal C, Lopez-Rios J, Balán IC, Sheinfil AZ, Rael CT, Brown III W, Cruz Torres C, Crespo R, Febo I, Carballo-Diéguez A. Broaching the topic of HIV self-testing with potential sexual partners among men and transgender women who have sex with men in New York and Puerto Rico. Under review.
Iribarren S, Lentz C, Sheinfil AZ, Giguere R, Lopez-Rios J, Dolezal C, Frasca T, Balán IC, Rael CT, Brown III W, Cruz Torres C, Crespo R, Febo I, Carballo-Diéguez A. Using an HIV self-test kit to test a partner: Attitudes and preferences among high-risk populations. Under review.
We would like to thank the study participants, who took the time to complete the survey and interviews to contribute to our knowledge of self-testing.
This project was supported by a Grant from the NICHD (R01-HD076636; PI: Carballo-Diéguez, PhD). This work was also supported by a Center Grant from the NIMH to the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University (P30-MH43520; PI: Remien, PhD). William Brown III was supported by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) [Grant Numbers R01-LM012355 PI: Schillinger, T15-LM007079 PI: Hripcsak, R01-LM013045 PI: Lyles], the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) [Grant Number P60-MD006902 PI: Bibbins-Domingo], the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) [Grant Number K12-HS026383], and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) of the NIH [UCSF-CTSI Grant Number KL2-TR001870] during various stages of the research and/or preparation of the article. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Carballo-Diéguez, A., Giguere, R., Balán, I.C. et al. Few Aggressive or Violent Incidents are Associated with the Use of HIV Self-tests to Screen Sexual Partners Among Key Populations. AIDS Behav 24, 2220–2226 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-020-02809-1
- HIV self-test
- Transgender women