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O038 The National HIV Self-Sampling Service
  1. Luis Guerra1,
  2. Louise Logan1,
  3. Tim Alston2,
  4. Noel Gill2,
  5. Ryan Kinsella2,
  6. Anthony Nardone1
  1. 1Public Health England, London, UK
  2. 2Preventx Integrated Diagnostics, Sheffield, UK

Abstract

Background/introduction In November 2015, Public Health England, with the support of Local Authorities, launched a nationwide HIV self-sampling service free for populations most at-risk of HIV acquisition (www.freetesting.hiv). In February 2016 the service was devolved to participating local authorities who have taken responsibility for the service in their areas.

Aim(s)/objectives To determine who is accessing the service and whether it reached most at-risk groups (including MSM and Black African communities) and first-time testers.

Methods Disaggregated anonymised data from service users ordering kits from 18 November 2015 – 31 January 2016 were analysed, including: ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, local authority residency and self-reported HIV testing information.

Results During this period there were 17,114 kits ordered of which 51% (n = 8,706) were returned with a 1.4% reactive rate (n = 122). 82% (n = 7149) of kits returned were from MSM with a 1.34% reactive rate (n = 96). 32% reported never testing and 40% testing over a year ago. 18% (n = 1537) of kits returned were from heterosexuals. Of those 42% (n = 649) were from Black African individuals with a 1.54% reactive rate (n = 10) and 31% reported never testing and 45% testing over a year ago. Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham are the local authorities presenting the highest service demand across England.

Discussion/conclusion The national self-sampling service has been successful at engaging most at-risk populations for HIV acquisition across the nation and those who had not tested for HIV as frequently as recommended in national guidelines; including many who have never tested before.

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