Home-based HIV testing enhances progress towards the 90-90-90 UNAIDS targets

1 March 2019

Home-based HIV testing services (HBHTS) led to an increase in knowledge of HIV status in HIV-positive men (62.9% to 74.2%) and women (73.4% to 80.5%) in a KwaZulu-Natal district, according to results from the HIPPS (HIV Incidence Provincial Surveillance System) study, recently published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

The results underscore the importance of regular testing in regions with high HIV incidence and highlight the importance of community-based testing strategies in increasing HIV status awareness among people living with HIV.The study showed that the largest impact was observed among young men and women (15–24 years) where the knowledge of status increased from 36.6% to 59.3% and from 50.8% to 64.8%, respectively (Figure below).

A total of 51.4% of those who had previously never tested received their first test.

This study was conducted using data from the second cross-sectional HIPPS survey in 2015/2016 conducted in the Vulindlela and Greater Edendale areas of the uMgungundlovu district of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. In several sub-groups in South Africa, awareness of HIV infection falls well below the 90% target proposed by UNAIDS. Men and youth continue to lag behind in knowing their HIV status.

There is an urgent need to find alternative testing strategies to facilitate regular testing in these hard-to-reach HIV-positive populations.Home-based testing is one such strategy.

For further reading see:

Lewis L et al. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2019; 80:135–144. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=30422908