Frequency of HIV testing in men who have sex with men may be increased by one additional test in a six month period when self-testing kits are used. Self-testing kits allow people to collect their finger-prick or saliva sample, perform the test and interpret the result themselves.
This global study found that first-time testers made up around a tenth of all self-testers in high-income countries such as the US or UK, but about a third of those in resource-limited countries. About a third of self-testers had not had a recent test in either setting.
For men testing positive, most (88%) went on to seek professional care in the UK, but rates were lower in other countries. Counselling and support following an HIV diagnosis are of great importance and should include partner notification.
Self-testing kits are available in the UK online from <a href="http://www.freetesting.hiv">www.freetesting.hiv</a> and are recommended by Public Health England.