Self-stigma, also known as internalised stigma, is a global public health threat because it keeps people from accessing HIV and other health services. By hampering HIV testing, treatment and prevention, self-stigma can compromise the sustainability of health interventions and have serious epidemiological consequences. This review synthesised existing evidence of interventions aiming to reduce self-stigma experienced by people living with HIV and key populations affected by HIV in low-income and middle-income countries.
Significant resources have created strong ‘test and treat’ programs globally. What about those who test HIV negative? How can we strengthen linkage of HIV-negative individuals to prevention programs in ways that work for them?
INTRODUCTION: HIV self-testing (HIVST) provides couples and individuals with a discreet, convenient and empowering testing option. As with all HIV testing, potential harms must be anticipated and mitigated to optimize individual and public health benefits.
Repeat HIV testing is important in high HIV burden communities to enable sustainability of prevention initiatives; however, an understanding of repeat testing practices is limited. Additional HIV testing approaches may be required to increase testing. HIV self-testing is an additional testing approach, but knowledge on its potential for repeat testing is limited. This study explored repeat HIV testing practices and uptake of HIV self-testing among repeat testers, following exposure to HIV self-testing.
BACKGROUND: Knowledge of HIV status is crucial for both prevention and treatment of HIV infection. However, according to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs), only 10% of the population has access to HIV testing services.
Conventional HIV testing services have been less comprehensive in reaching men than in reaching women globally, but HIV self-testing (HIVST) appears to be an acceptable alternative. Measurement of linkage to post-test services following HIVST remains the biggest challenge, yet is the biggest driver of cost-effectiveness. We investigated the impact of HIVST alone or with additional interventions on the uptake of testing and linkage to care or prevention among male partners of antenatal care clinic attendees in a novel adaptive trial.
Suboptimal HIV testing rates through available testing approaches such as HIV counselling and testing have directed research efforts toward recognizing the potential of HIV self-testing as an additional testing method. However, HIV self-testing is not readily available within HIV testing facilities and data on how HIV self-testing and HIV counselling and testing will co-exist within HIV testing facilities is limited. Therefore, this study sought to fill this knowledge gap.