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Expanding the toolbox of HIV self‐testing at home: the importance of user choice and feedback

Deborah A Williamson and Sharon R Lewin
Med J Aust 2022; 217 (3): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.51649
Published online: 1 August 2022

To maximise its health benefits, self‐testing for infectious diseases must be reliable, accessible, and affordable

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing is a key prevention strategy; a positive test result can lead to life‐saving antiretroviral therapy, while a negative result opens access to effective prevention measures, such as pre‐exposure prophylaxis. Home‐based testing of blood or oral secretions for HIV antibody has been available in some countries for many years. In Australia, however, only self‐testing of blood is available (since November 2018),1 and its uptake by people regularly tested for HIV has been surprisingly low (about 1%).2 With the recent widespread use of antigen tests for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2),3 home‐based testing is now quite familiar in Australia, providing an opportunity to improve the acceptability of its use for detecting other infections, including HIV.

  • Deborah A Williamson1,2
  • Sharon R Lewin2,3

  • 1 Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2 The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC
  • 3 The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Melbourne, VIC


Correspondence: sharon.lewin@unimelb.edu.au

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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