Factors Associated with Willingness to Accept Oral Fluid HIV Rapid Testing among Most-At-Risk Populations in China

December 2013 - Structural Prevention

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Xun, H., Kang, D., Huang, T., et al. PLOS One (November 2013), Vol. 8 No. 11, p. e80594

The authors assessed acceptability of oral fluid HIV rapid testing among most-at-risk populations (MARPs) in Shandong Province, China (n=1,137). Results showed that despite limited knowledge and experience of taking oral fluid HIV rapid tests, 71 percent of MARPs surveyed found the test acceptable, with no statistical differences among men who have sex with men (MSM), female sex workers (FSWs), or voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) clients. The most commonly cited factors associated with willingness to accept the test were its noninvasiveness, painlessness, and rapid test results; common concerns were having never heard of the method and test accuracy. Approximately half of participants considered using the test. Independent predictors of willingness to accept the test were previous HIV testing (VCT clients and MSM) educational levels (MSM), and risk behaviors over the past three months (FSW). Less educated MSM and FSWs engaged in HIV risk behaviors should be targeted for this type of testing, along with HIV prevention education. The median price participants were willing to pay for this test was: U.S.$6.50, $4.80, and $8.10 among MSM, FSWs, and VCT clients, respectively. Oral fluid HIV rapid testing provides an alternative testing option that may increase test acceptance rates among Chinese MARPs; yet appropriate pricing, safe testing venues, and increased education about the method may increase the method's acceptability.

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