Feasibility and robustness of an oral HIV self-test in a rural community in South-Africa: An observational diagnostic study

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Abstract

Background HIV-self-testing (HIVST) could be a strategy to get more people tested for HIV in resource limited settings. One of the prerequisites of a successful HIVST programme is the availability of an easy to use, valid HIV-test which is robust against field conditions and procedural errors by untrained lay users. Methods and findings The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the ability of untrained persons to correctly interpret the OraQuick HIV Self-Test results with oral fluid compared with results obtained by trained users using the matched lot OraQuick Rapid HIV-1/2 Antibody Test and blinded to the results of the Self-Test. Sensitivity of the OraQuick HIV Self-Test in untrained users was 101 in 102 (99.02%; 95%CI = 93.88–99.95%)—and specificity– 1,241 in 1,241 (100.0%; 95%CI = 99.62–100.0%). Forty-eight Self-Tests were excluded in the accuracy analysis (due to a result read as invalid, not sure or ambiguous) resulting in a test system failure rate of 3.45% (95% CI 2.56%-4.55%). At least one observation of difficulty or error with one or more of the test steps were seen in 1,193 (84.6%) participants. Age, education and health literacy were independently associated with the sum score of procedural errors and difficulties. Four tests did not provide a valid result as determined by the trained user’s interpretation of the Self-Test. Conclusions The OraQuick HIV Self-Test provides reliable and repeatable results in a rural field environment in spite of procedural errors.

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Devillé, W., & Tempelman, H. (2019). Feasibility and robustness of an oral HIV self-test in a rural community in South-Africa: An observational diagnostic study. PLoS ONE, 14(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0215353

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