HIV self-testing among health workers: A review of the literature
A review of the literature and discussion of current practices, issues and options for increasing access to HIV testing in sub-Saharan Africa
This discussion document reviews current literature, existing practices and surrounding issues related with HIV self-testing among health workers in sub-Saharan Africa. Health workers are often at high risk from HIV infection both in their personal lives and because of occupational exposure. However, many health workers are reluctant to seek testing due to prevailing stigma surrounding HIV. There is increasing evidence that self-testing is being practiced informally by health workers but until very recently, a cautionary approach has been adopted.
With the increased access to treatment, there is an urgent need to scale up appropriate HIV testing methods for groups such as health workers to enable them benefit from available treatment and care and make HIV prevention choices. Self-testing is only one of the possible options and the authors give specific consideration to self-testing because it falls outside current policy recommendations on HIV testing and counselling. Further research is needed to explore ways of supporting increased access to testing for health workers and before definitive guidance on whether to promote or discourage self-testing can be given.