Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2015 Apr 7;10(4):e0120810. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0120810. eCollection 2015.

Home sampling for sexually transmitted infections and HIV in men who have sex with men: a prospective observational study.

Author information

Department of Genitourinary/HIV Medicine, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, Brighton, United Kingdom.
Division of Primary Care and Public Health, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Falmer, United Kingdom.
Public Health England, Sexually Transmitted Bacteria Reference Laboratory and Virus Reference Department, London, United Kingdom.
Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom.


To determine uptake of home sampling kit (HSK) for STI/HIV compared to clinic-based testing, whether the availability of HSK would increase STI testing rates amongst HIV infected MSM, and those attending a community-based HIV testing clinic compared to historical control. Prospective observational study in three facilities providing STI/HIV testing services in Brighton, UK was conducted. Adult MSM attending/contacting a GUM clinic requesting an STI screen (group 1), HIV infected MSM attending routine outpatient clinic (group 2), and MSM attending a community-based rapid HIV testing service (group 3) were eligible. Participants were required to have no symptomatology consistent with STI and known to be immune to hepatitis A and B (group 1). Eligible men were offered a HSK to obtain self-collected specimens as an alternative to routine testing. HSK uptake compared to conventional clinic-based STI/HIV testing in group 1, increase in STI testing rates due to availability of HSK compared to historical controls in group 2 and 3, and HSK return rates in all settings were calculated. Among the 128 eligible men in group 1, HSK acceptance was higher (62.5% (95% CI: 53.5-70.9)) compared to GUM clinic-based testing (37.5% (95% CI: 29.1-46.5)), (p = 0.0004). Two thirds of eligible MSM offered an HSK in all three groups accepted it, but HSK return rates varied (highest in group 1, 77.5%, lowest in group 3, 16%). HSK for HIV testing was acceptable to 81% of men in group 1. Compared to historical controls, availability of HSK increased the proportion of MSM testing for STIs in group 2 but not in group 3. HSK for STI/HIV offers an alternative to conventional clinic-based testing for MSM seeking STI screening. It significantly increases STI testing uptake in HIV infected MSM. HSK could be considered as an adjunct to clinic-based services to further improve STI/HIV testing in MSM.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center