Feasibility of a novel self-collection method for blood samples and its acceptability for future home-based PrEP monitoring

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Background: Most non-clinic based HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) programs require fingersticks to self-collect blood specimens for laboratory monitoring, a technique that often results in inadequate blood volume for quantitative syphilis and HIV serological testing. We evaluated the acceptability and feasibility of using the Tasso OnDemandâ„¢ device as a self-sampling method for PrEP monitoring tests and compared results from samples obtained using the Tasso device to clinician-collected blood samples. Methods: We enrolled study subjects online and in a sexual health clinic and HIV clinic in Seattle, WA, USA to assess the acceptability of blood self-sampling and preferences for home-based PrEP monitoring. We compared HIV antigen/antibody, quantitative rapid plasma reagin and creatinine results in paired self-collected and clinical specimens collected from a subset of participants. Results: Of 141 participants, 124 (88%) were interested in collecting samples for PrEP monitoring at home. Among 48 who completed blood collections, 94% found the Tasso device easy to use and 95% felt they could perform self-sampling at home. Of 27 participants who used two devices, 100% collected sufficient blood to perform up to two tests while 33% collected sufficient serum for three tests. Agreement in test results between paired samples was high. Conclusions: These pilot data suggest that using the Tasso self-collection device is acceptable and could feasibly be used to obtain serum specimens sufficient for guideline-recommended PrEP monitoring, though use of a larger volume device may be preferable.




Cannon, C. A., Ramchandani, M. S., & Golden, M. R. (2022). Feasibility of a novel self-collection method for blood samples and its acceptability for future home-based PrEP monitoring. BMC Infectious Diseases, 22(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12879-022-07432-0

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