Sabapathy, K, Mulubwa C, Mathema H, Mubekapi-Musadaidzwa C, Schaap A, Hoddinott G, Hargreaves J, Floyd S, Ayles H, Fidler S, Hayes R, on behalf of the HPTN 071 (PopART) study team. Is home-based HIV testing universally acceptable? – findings from a case-control study nested within the HPTN 071 (PopART) trial. Trop Med Int Health. 2018, 23: 678-690. PMC6001569
OBJECTIVE: The HPTN 071 (PopART) trial is examining the impact of a package including universal testing and treatment on community-level HIV incidence in Zambia and South Africa. We conducted a nested case-control study to examine factors associated with acceptance of home-based HIV testing and counselling (HB-HTC) delivered by community HIV-care providers (CHiPs) in PopART intervention communities. METHODS: Of 295 447 individuals who were offered testing, random samples of individuals who declined HB-HTC (cases) and accepted HB-HTC (controls), stratified by gender and community, were selected. Odds ratios comparing cases and controls were estimated using multivariable logistic regression. RESULTS: Data from 642 participants (313 cases, 329 controls) were analysed. There were no differences between cases and controls by demographic or behavioural characteristics including age, marital or socio-economic position. Participants who felt they could be open with CHiPs (AOR: 0.46, 95% CI: 0.30-0.71, P < 0.001); self-reported as not previously tested (AOR: 0.64; 95% CI: 0.43-0.95, P = 0.03); considered HTC at home to be convenient (AOR: 0.38, 95% CI: 0.27-0.54, P = 0.001); knowing others who had accepted HB-HTC from the CHiPs (AOR: 0.49, 95% CI: 0.31-0.77, P = 0.002); or were motivated to get treatment without delay (AOR: 0.60, 95% CI: 0.43-0.85, P = 0.004) were less likely to decline the offer of HB-HCT. Those who self-reported high-risk sexual behaviour were also less likely to decline HB-HCT (AOR: 0.61, 95% CI: 0.39-0.93, P = 0.02). Having stigmatising attitudes about HB-HTC was not an important barrier to HB-HCT uptake. Men who reported fear of HIV were more likely to decline HB-HCT (AOR: 2.68, 95% CI: 1.33-5.38, P = 0.005). CONCLUSION: Acceptance of HB-HTC was associated with lack of previous HIV testing, positive attitudes about HIV services/treatment and perception of high sexual risk. Uptake of HB-HCT among those offered it was similar across a range of demographic and behavioural subgroups suggesting it was 'universally' acceptable.