Home-based rapid HIV testing: An information and resource page
Alex Carballo-Dieguez, Ph.D., is currently leading a study at the HIV Center on "Rapid HIV Home Test and Decision-Making among HIV-Negative Men." This important prevention issue has become even more topical with the recent approval from the FDA for over-the-counter distribution, which is expected to commence in October 2012.
XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC (July 2012)
At the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC, Dr. Carballo-Diéguez presented on his study at a panel discussion on emerging HIV prevention technologies.
To view the poster presented at the conference, click here.
To view the slides that Dr. Carballo-Diéguez used on the panel, click here.
To read about the study in Science Codex, click here.
To access media coverage of the panel, please use the links below:
The Warning (France)
To read a Huffington Post commentary by Home Testing co-author Timothy Frasca, M.P.H., click here.
Photo above by Joyce Hunter
STUDY PUBLICATIONS TO DATE
(with abstracts and links to full text, where available)
Carballo-Diéguez A, Frasca T, Balan I, Ibitoye M, Dolezal C.
AIDS and Behavior 2012;16(7):1753-1760.
The study assessed whether at-risk HIV-uninfected men who have sex with men (MSM) who never or rarely use condoms and have multiple partners would use a rapid, oral fluid, HIV home test (HT) to screen potential sexual partners. Participants received 16 HT kits, were monitored weekly for 3 months, and then interviewed in depth. Twenty-seven ethnically diverse MSM used HT kits before intercourse with approximately 100 partners in private and public spaces. Testing had high acceptability among ethnic minority participants. Ten tested individuals received HIV-antibody positive results. Seven were potential sexual partners, and three were acquaintances of the participants; six of the ten were unaware of their status. No sexual intercourse took place after positive tests. Very few problems occurred. Most participants strongly desired to continue using HT and to buy it freely. HT use results in detection of previously unknown infections. Making HT available within networks where high-risk sexual practices are common may be a cost-efficient and effective prevention method.
Carballo-Diéguez A, Frasca T, Dolezal C & Balan I
Journal of Sex Research. Epub ahead of print Jan 21 (2012)
The Food and Drug Administration may license OraQuick™, a rapid HIV test, for over-the-counter (OTC) sale. This study investigated whether HIV-uninfected, non-monogamous, gay and bisexual men who never or rarely use condoms would use the test with partners as a harm-reduction approach. Sixty participants responded to two computer-assisted self-interviews, underwent an in-depth interview, and chose whether to test themselves with OraQuick. Over 80% of the men said they would use the kit to test sexual partners or themselves if it became available OTC. Most participants understood that antibody tests have a window period in which the virus is undetectable, yet saw advantages to using the test to screen partners; 74% tested themselves in our offices. Participants offered several possible strategies to introduce the home-test idea to partners, frequently endorsed mutual testing, and highlighted that home testing could stimulate greater honesty in serostatus disclosure. Participants drew distinctions between testing regular versus occasional partners. Non-monogamous men who have sex with men, who never or rarely use condoms, may nevertheless seek to avoid HIV. Technologies that do not interfere with sexual pleasure are likely to be used when available. Studies are needed to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using OTC rapid HIV tests as one additional harm-reduction tool.
Commentary: "I Think Having the Option Available is a No-Brainer": Will Gay and
Bisexually Active Men at High Risk of Infection Use Over-the-Counter Rapid
HIV Tests to Screen Sexual Partners?
Journal of Sex Research, 2012 Jul;49(4):388-9.
Ventuneac A, Carballo-Diéguez A, Leu C-S, Levin B, Bauermeister
J, Woodman-Maynard E, Giguere R
AIDS and Behavior, 2009 Aug;13(4):731-7
We estimated the HIV risk reduction that could be attained by
using a rapid HIV home test (HT) to screen sexual partners versus using
condoms in different proportions of anal intercourse (AI) occasions among
men who have sex with men (MSM). Special attention was paid to the role of
the window period during which infected cases go undetected. Our results
show that if MSM engage in AI without condoms following a non-reactive HT
result, they have lower chances of becoming infected by someone still in
the window period than by following heuristics and using condoms
inconsistently. For MSM who do not use condoms, use of HT as a screening
device may be a useful risk reduction strategy. This advantage increases
with higher HIV population prevalence. With higher HIV incidence, this
strategy will not provide any advantage if condoms are used in as little
as one out of four occasions.
Use of a rapid HIV home test to screen sexual partners: A Commentary on Ventuneac, Carballo-Diéguez, Leu, et al.
Leu, C.-S., Ventuneac, A., Levin, B.,& Carballo-Diéguez, A.
AIDS and Behavior, 16: 1-4. Epub ahead of print: April 8, (2012)
Previously, we estimated the HIV risk reduction that men who have sex with men could attain using a rapid HIV home test to screen sexual partners versus using condoms inconsistently. Here, we clarify the assumptions of our published formulas. Using models that more closely resemble our study population, our results show a difference from that presented in the original article in the magnitude of the relative advantage (i.e., lower risk of HIV infection) for HIV home test use versus inconsistent condom use. We present a general formula that can accommodate different types of partnerships in estimating risk of HIV infection.
LINKS ON THE ISSUE OF HOME-BASED RAPID HIV TESTING
(New York Times)
An HIV home testing kit won't give you emotional support
(The Guardian, UK)