Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

CUNY Student and Faculty Study Offering Self-administered Oral HIV Testing to Truck Drivers in Kenya

Dr. Elizabeth Kelvin, a professor and Dr. Matthew Romo, an epidemiology doctoral student at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy and colleagues studied the predictors of choosing self-administered oral HIV testing in the clinic with supervision compared to the standard provider-administered blood test when offered the choice among Kenyan truck drivers. The findings were published in the journal AIDS and Behavior.


[Photos right to left: Dr. Elizabeth Kelvin and Dr. Matthew Romo]

Truck drivers in Africa have been characterized as a key population to target for HIV prevention, testing and treatment services due to their high HIV risk and unmet need for services. The approval by FDA of a rapid self-administered oral HIV test allowed this study to be conducted. The study explored potential predictors of choosing a self-administered oral rapid test over a standard test situation.

Male truck drivers from Kenya, who were over 18 years of age and were either HIV-negative or of unknown status were eligible. Those consenting participated in the randomized controlled trial. The research team used five psychosocial measures: anticipated HIV stigma, general self-efficacy, including belief in one’s ability to cope with stressful and challenging demands, a measure of fatalism, gender-equity, and sensation-seeking.

Overall, 56.38 percent of participants chose the self-test, 23.49 percent the provider-administered test, and 20.13 percent refused testing. Overall, 52.38 percent of self-testers did so correctly without help from an individual in the room, 47.61 percent asked questions, and 13.10 percent required unsolicited correction from the provider. The more fatalistic a truck driver was, the more likely they were to ask for guidance when self-testing.

Self-administered oral HIV testing was acceptable and feasible among Kenyan truck drivers, especially if given the opportunity to ask questions.

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