What is it about?

HIV self-testing has been proposed as a complementary option to community-based and conventional HIV testing methods to reach high-risk populations who have not tested or require routine testing. South African adolescents in high HIV disease burden communities remain at high risk of HIV infection, but they often avoid conventional HIV testing services. Alternative options, such as HIV self-testing, may bridge the gap between high-risk adolescents and HIV testing, prevention methods, and treatment.

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Why is it important?

HIV testing offers an additional option for those who may not test at conventional facilities, which is important for earlier identification of infections and subsequent treatment.


This research showed that HIV self-testing was acceptable in adolescents and young adults from high-risk communities in Cape Town, South Africa. This evidence showed that young people can accurately complete self-testing with the AtomoRapid device and interpret the results. Future research should investigate where to implement distribution, and how to support young people who have completed​ the test.

Philip Smith
University of Cape Town

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Adolescents’ experience of a rapid HIV self-testing device in youth-friendly clinic settings in Cape Town South Africa: a cross-sectional community based usability study, Journal of the International AIDS Society, January 2016, Wiley,
DOI: 10.7448/ias.19.1.21111.
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