(MONTREAL) — HIV is the virus that can lead to AIDS. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that between 800,000 and 900,000 people in the U.S. are living with HIV. Early detection is crucial for effective treatment.
Now a Canadian study published in the journal PLoS One finds most people prefer self-testing with in-home HIV kits to getting tested in a health care facility. The cites fear of discrimination, lack of privacy, the stigma of HIV and long waiting lines among the reasons people may prefer testing at home.
For the study, the researchers, led by Nitika Pant Pai from McGill University and the Research Institute of McGill University Health Center in Montreal, Canada, analyzed the findings from 21 published studies (conducted mostly in developed countries) that evaluated both supervised (more 4,890) and unsupervised (7,512) self-testing for HIV.
They found that access to do-it-yourself tests motivated subjects to get tested. Additionally, the authors noted that home tests were more likely to result in self-testing by partners.
The researchers concluded that self-testing has the potential to send more HIV-positive patients into treatment sooner.
Note: The accuracy of home-testing kits varies.
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