Background In Peru an estimated 70% of people who are HIV positive do not know their status. Knowing one’s HIV status is critical in HIV prevention. Oraquick® in-home HIV test is the first rapid HIV self-test U. S FDA-approved for home use. We aimed to assess its availability and the willingness of men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (TW) to use it in Peru.
Methods Four Pharmacy chains in Peru were surveyed to ascertain commercial availability of the Oraquick® in-home HIV test kits. High-risk MSM and TW who attended either of two STI clinics in Lima from June 2013 to May 2014 were surveyed. Data on demographics and willingness to use Oraquick® IN HOME HIV TEST kit were collected using an interviewer administered computer-based questionnaire.
Results The Oraquick® Rapid HIV-1/2 test kit was available for purchase for home use by 4 (100%) pharmacy chains, 3 in Lima and one in northern Peru. The average test kit cost was 54 soles (18 USD); kits were available to clients 18 years or older for over-the-counter purchase. Of the 137 interviewed survey participants, 85% (n = 117) reported they would use a rapid home HIV self-test at least twice yearly. Respondents reported willingness to pay up to 21 soles (approximately 7 USD) for the test and in the event of positive results, to do the confirmatory blood test in a clinic. Also, 78% (n = 117) of participants reported being comfortable getting an HIV self-test kit by mail or for home use from a clinic.
Conclusion Our findings show the potential utility for home HIV self-testing to enhance HIV serostatus awareness in Peru. Further studies are needed on utilisation and linkage to care and prevention services.