UBC Faculty Research and Publications

The association between HIV self-test awareness and recent HIV testing uptake in the male population in Gambia : data analysis from 2019–2020 demographic and health survey Soe, Phyumar; Johnston, Lisa G.; Makuza, Jean D.; Karim, Mohammad Ehsanul


Background: The Gambian Ministry of Health is supportive of HIV self-testing (HIVST) and HIVST initiatives are being piloted as an additional strategy to increase HIV testing for individuals not currently reached by existing services, particularly men. This study aimed to determine awareness of HIVST among Gambian men, and whether prior awareness of HIVST is associated with recent HIV testing uptake. Methods We used men’s cross-sectional data from the 2019–2020 Gambian Demographic and Health Survey. We employed design-adjusted multivariable logistic regression to examine the association between HIVST awareness and recent HIV testing. Propensity-score weighting was conducted as sensitivity analyses. Results Of 3,308 Gambian men included in the study, 11% (372) were aware of HIVST and 16% (450) received HIV testing in the last 12 months. In the design-adjusted multivariable analysis, men who were aware of HIVST had 1.76 times (95% confidence interval: 1.26–2.45) the odds of having an HIV test in the last 12 months, compared to those who were not aware of HIVST. Sensitivity analyses revealed similar findings. Conclusion Awareness of HIVST may help increase the uptake of HIV testing among men in Gambia. This finding highlights HIVST awareness-raising activities to be an important intervention for nationwide HIVST program planning and implementation in Gambia.

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