Evaluating the integration of HIV selftesting into low-resource health systems: study protocol for a cluster-randomized control trial from EQUIP Innovations

By Kathryn Dovel, Frackson Shaba, Mike Nyirenda, O. Agatha Offorjebe, Kelvin Balakasi, Khumbo Phiri  Brooke Nichols  Chi-Hong Tseng, Ashley Bardon, Khumbo Ngona and Risa Hoffman  |  | 

Throughout sub-Saharan Africa HIV-testing rates remain low. Barriers to testing, such as inconvenient service hours and long wait times, lack of privacy, and fear of unwanted disclosure, continue to impede service utilization. HIV self-testing (HIVST) is one strategy that addresses these barriers and has been shown to increase use of HIV-testing when distributed through community-based settings. However, the scalability of HIVST is limited
because it has yet to be fully integrated into existing health systems and routine care. To address this gap, we designed a study to test the effect of offering HIVST to routine outpatient department (OPD) clients on uptake of HIV-testing as compared to standard of care and optimized standard of care.

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Springer Nature ( BMC)