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PLoS One. 2016 Mar 31;11(3):e0152567. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0152567. eCollection 2016.

Comparing the Information and Support Needs of Different Population Groups in Preparation for 2015 Government Approval for HIV Self-testing in France.

Author information

Laboratoire de recherche, EPS Maison Blanche, Paris, France.
INPES, Saint-Denis, France.
AIDES, Pantin, France.
AP-HP, UF de Thérapeutique en Immuno-Infectiologie, Hôpital Hôtel-Dieu, Paris, France.
Université Paris Descartes, EA7327, Faculté de Médecine site Necker, Paris, France.
Inserm U1018, CESP-4: Epidémiologie du VIH et des IST, Le Kremlin Bicêtre, France.



HIV self-tests are currently being introduced in France with the aim of promoting screening both for the general population and for high-risk populations.


The current study aimed to identify and compare the information and support needs of the different target population groups.


The Delphi process was used to synthesize expert opinions for each population group. Experts were chosen for their experience and expertise in the area of HIV and HIV screening for each population. Each group developed recommendations for a specific population: six high HIV prevalence populations (men who have sex with men; transgender people; substance users; migrants from sub-Saharan Africa; French West Indies; French Guiana) and two low prevalence populations (the general population; people under 25). Each group included expertise from four areas: research, screening and care, policy-making, and community groups.


A final total of 263 recommendations were grouped into eight main themes: Communicating at both national and community levels about self-test arrival (24% of all recommendations); Providing information adapted to the different community groups' needs (23%); Providing counselling on self-test use and access to care (15%); Making self-tests available to all in terms of accessibility and cost (13%); Preparing community healthcare and screening systems for the arrival of the self-test (11%); Approving only high quality self-tests (6%); Defending self-test users' legal rights (5%); Evaluating self-test use (3%). Although a large number of recommendations were common to several groups of experts, the study highlighted a certain number of recommendations specific to each different population group, particularly with regard to information content and access both to information and to the self-tests themselves.


Results from the current study should make a significant contribution to policy decisions concerning catering for the specific access, information and support needs of different potential HIV self-test user groups in France.

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