Acceptability of HIV self-sampling kits (TINY vial) among people of black African ethnicity in the UK: A qualitative study

Dodds, C. et al. (2018) Acceptability of HIV self-sampling kits (TINY vial) among people of black African ethnicity in the UK: A qualitative study. BMC Public Health, 18, 499. (doi: 10.1186/s12889-018-5256-5) (PMID:29653536) (PMCID:PMC5899406)

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Background: Increasing routine HIV testing among key populations is a public health imperative, so improving access to acceptable testing options for those in need is a priority. Despite increasing targeted distribution and uptake of HIV self-sampling kits (SSKs) among men who have sex with men in the UK, little is known about why targeted SSK interventions for black African users are not as wide-spread or well-used. This paper addresses this key gap, offering insight into why some groups may be less likely than others to adopt certain types of SSK interventions in particular contexts. These data were collected during the development phase of a larger study to explore the feasibility and acceptability of targeted distribution of SSKs to black African people. Methods: We undertook 6 focus groups with members of the public who self-identified as black African (n = 48), 6 groups with specialists providing HIV and social services to black African people (n = 53), and interviews with HIV specialist consultants and policy-makers (n = 9). Framework analysis was undertaken, using inductive and deductive analysis to develop and check themes. Results: We found three valuable components of targeted SSK interventions for this population: the use of settings and technologies that increase choice and autonomy; targeted offers of HIV testing that preserve privacy and do not exacerbate HIV stigma; and ensuring that the specific kit being used (in this case, the TINY vial) is perceived as simple and reliable. Conclusions: This unique and rigorous research offers insights into participants’ views on SSK interventions, offering key considerations when targeting this population.. Given the plethora of HIV testing options, our work demonstrates that those commissioning and delivering SSK interventions will need to clarify (for users and providers) how each kit type and intervention design adds value. Most significantly, these findings demonstrate that without a strong locus of control over their own circumstances and personal information, black African people are less likely to feel that they can pursue an HIV test that is safe and secure. Thus, where profound social inequalities persist, so will inequalities in HIV testing uptake – by any means.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:A correction to this article is available at
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Phillips, Dr Gemma and Young, Dr Ingrid and Park, Dr Caroline and Flowers, Professor Paul and Dodds, Dr Catherine and McDaid, Professor Lisa
Authors: Dodds, C., Mugweni, E., Phillips, G., Park, C., Young, I., Fakoya, I., Wayal, S., McDaid, L., Sachikonye, M., Chwaula, J., Flowers, P., and Burns, F.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Journal Name:BMC Public Health
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN (Online):1471-2458
Published Online:13 April 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in BMC Public Health 18:499
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
638231Feasibility and acceptability of home sampling kits to increase the uptake of HIV testing among black Africans in the United Kingdom: The Haus studyLisa McDaidNational Institute for Health Research (NIHR)12/138/02 HJLFIHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
727631SPHSU Core Renewal: Relationships & Health Improvement Research ProgrammeLisa McDaidMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/11IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
667791Addressing HIV literacy and inequalities in an era of biomedical HIV prevention: supporting the wellbeing of communities most affected by HIV in ScotlandIngrid YoungChief Scientist office (CSO)PDF/14/02IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU