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Visions, Voices, and Priorities: Young People Talk About Self-Testing for HIV

2016 | Download

HIV self-testing is a method of testing for HIV for person who wants to know his or her HIV status by collecting a small sample of blood, or oral fluid (depending on the type of kit) and performs a test and interprets the result by him or herself, often in private.

Self-testing is an emerging approach that gives the opportunity to test discreetly, at home for instance and for this reason it can be useful to people who may be unable or reluctant to use the more traditional ways of testing for HIV. It may also be useful to people who need to retest frequently. In some countries, HIV self-testing is becoming increasingly available, both informally and in a regulated manner. It is important to remember that HIV self-testing does not provide a definitive HIV diagnosis. HIV positive status need to be confirmed using a test in a clinic.

Young people have a key role to play in community education and mobilisation related to self-testing, and are an essential voice in the development of policies and programmes that promote self-testing. Based on the feedback and voices of young people, this brief highlights the need for the involvement of young people most impacted by HIV in ongoing dialogue, community education, advocacy and research around self-testing.

Download the brief. 

This brief is based on community dialogues on HIV self-testing, designed with and for young people living with and most affected by HIV, which took place in Ethiopia, Burundi, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Uganda during April 2016. Young people living with and most affected by HIV led dialogues with other young people in their communities, facilitated using a standard discussion guide. A total of 49 young people took part in the dialogues, including three groups of young men who have sex with men (Bangladesh, Burundi and Myanmar) one group of young women who sell sex (Burundi), and one group of young people and adolescents living with HIV (Uganda). The results of the dialogue were validated in a meeting in Yangon, Myanmar in June 2016, and further validated among participants virtually in July 2016. Each community dialogue was facilitated using a discussion guide, which included a set of key questions and a definition of self-testing.

Read the brief's findings and hear from participants in their own words.


This brief was created by Link Up, which has improved the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of almost 940,000 young people affected by HIV across five countries in Africa and Asia. The project is being implemented by a consortium of partners led by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance. PHI's Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GYCA) is an implementing partner of Link Up.

Other briefs in the series include: