A short technical update on self-testing for HIV
HIV self‑testing is a process whereby a person who wants to know his or her HIV status collects a specimen, performs a test and interprets the test result in private. An HIV self-test does not provide a diagnosis. All reactive (positive) self-test results must be confirmed by a health worker in accordance with national testing algorithms. HIV self‑testing enables individuals to test themselves for HIV in private.
By providing an opportunity for people to test themselves discreetly and conveniently, HIV self‑testing may provide people who are not currently reached by existing HIV testing and counselling services with information about their HIV status.
This technical update presents information on the potential benefits and risks of HIV self-testing, as well as programmatic approaches, policies and regulatory considerations. Currently there is no WHO normative guidance on HIV self-testing. Research is needed to continuously expand the evidence base on HIV self‑testing to inform not the development of national policy and regulations.