Attitudes towards HIV testing via home-sampling kits ordered online (RUClear pilots 2011-12)

Y. Ahmed-Little*, V. Bothra, D. Cordwell, D. Freeman Powell, D. Ellis, P. Klapper, S. Scanlon, S. Higgins, Roberto Vivancos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background The burden of disease relating to undiagnosed HIV infection is significant in the UK. BHIVA (British HIV Association) recommends population screening in high prevalence areas, expanding outside traditional antenatal/GUM settings. Methods RUClear 2011-12 piloted expanding HIV testing outside traditional settings using home-sampling kits (dry-blood-spot testing) ordered online. Greater Manchester residents (≥age 16) could request testing via an established, online chlamydia testing service (www.ruclear.co.uk). Participant attitudes towards this new service were assessed. Qualitative methods (thematic analysis) were used to analyse free-text data submitted by participants via hard copy questionnaires issued in all testing kits. Results 79.9% (2447/3062) participants completed questionnaires, of which 30.9% (756/2447) provided free-text data. Participants overwhelmingly supported the service, valuing particularly accessibility and convenience, allowing individuals to order tests any time of day and self-sample comfortably at home; avoiding the invasive nature of venipuncture and avoiding the need for face-to-face interaction with health services. The pilot was also clinically and cost-effective. Conclusion Testing via home-sampling kits ordered online (dry-blood-spot testing) was felt to be an acceptable and convenient method for accessing a HIV test. Many individuals undertook HIV testing where they would otherwise not have been tested at all. Expansion of similar services may increase the uptake of HIV testing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-590
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Public Health (United Kingdom)
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Faculty of Public Health. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Keywords

  • beliefs
  • health services
  • public health

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