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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. Increasing HIV testing rates among these populations is a critical public health goal. Although HIV self-tests are commercially available, there is a need to better understand access to and uptake of HIV self-testing among this population. Here, we report of a qualitative study of 30 young black MSM and transgender women residing in the New York City area to understand facilitators of and barriers to a range of HIV testing approaches, including self-testing.

Mean age was Just one participant reported ever using a commercially available HIV self-test. Facilitators of self-testing included convenience, control, and privacy, particularly as compared to venue-based testing. Barriers to self-testing included the cost of the test, anxiety regarding accessing the test, concerns around correct test operation, and lack of support if a test result is positive. Participants indicated that instruction in correct test operation and social support in the event of a positive test result may increase the likelihood that they would use the self-test.

Alongside developing new approaches to HIV prevention, developing ways to increase HIV self-testing is a public health priority for young, black MSM, and transgender women. Self-reported, and thus self-assessed, risk may underestimate the need for routine HIV screening. However, the men who had not tested were 4 times more likely to have an undiagnosed HIV infection compared to men who tested recently. Further, providing additional options to promote more frequent testing is critical for identifying undiagnosed HIV infections, which may facilitate increased linkage to HIV care among a population that is severely impacted by the HIV epidemic.

Some research exists on self-reported likelihood of using the self-test. There is limited information, however, on barriers to and facilitators of self-testing among YBMSM and transgender women, now that the test is commercially available. While self-testing inherently minimizes select barriers to testing 37 —such as lack of access to traditional testing venues, potential stigma, and confidentiality concerns—perspectives of YBMSM and transgender women on self-testing remain relatively unexplored.

Here, we present of a qualitative study to understand facilitators of and barriers to a range of HIV testing approaches, including HIV self-testing. To be eligible for the study, participants had to: 1 report being male at birth; 2 self-identify as black, African American, Caribbean black, African black, or multiethnic black; 3 be able to read and respond in English; 4 be between 16—29 years of age; 5 not be known to be HIV-infected; 6 report insertive or receptive anal intercourse with a man or transwoman in the last 12 months; 7 reside in the NYC metropolitan area; and 8 provide informed consent or assent for the study.

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