Guidelines on HIV Self-Testing and Partner Notification: Supplement to Consolidated Guidelines on HIV Testing Services

World Health Organization (December 2016).

To further support countries, program managers, health workers, and other stakeholders seeking to achieve national and international HIV goals, the World Health Organization (WHO) developed new recommendations and additional guidance on HIV self-testing and assisted HIV partner notification (PN) services. The guidance recommends offering voluntary assisted PN services as part of a comprehensive package of testing and care to all people with HIV.

This guidance is based on the findings of a systematic review, users' values and preferences, and additional evidence reviewed by the WHO guideline development group. The review findings showed that assisted notification of partners was acceptable, increased uptake of services, and diagnosed a greater proportion of partners of people with HIV when compared to passive notification. Also, the studies included reported no serious harm.

Furthermore, these guidelines aim to:

  • Support the implementation and scale-up of ethical, effective, acceptable, evidence-informed approaches to assisted PN.
  • Support the routine offer of voluntary assisted PN services as part of a public health approach to delivering HIV testing services (HTS).
  • Provide guidance on how to integrate assisted HIV PN services into both community-based and facility-based HTS approaches and tailor the services to specific population groups.
  • Position PN services as an HTS approach that will contribute to closing the testing gap and achieving the 90–90–90 and 2030 global goals of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.