A new study reported in this week's PLOS Medicine reports findings from a study carried out in four African countries by Carla Makhlouf Obermeyer and colleagues on approaches towards expanding testing and counselling for HIV. Provider-initiated HIV testing has the potential to expand access to treatment and prevention services, but there have been concerns as to whether consent practices, client confidentiality, and the referral to care will be acceptable under provider-initiated testing modes.
The study, conducted in Burkina Faso, Kenya, Malawi and Uganda, found that most respondents under both provider-initiated and voluntary modes of testing report favourable outcomes for consent, confidentiality and referral. The study suggests that it will be possible to scale up HIV testing through many different modes of access without negatively affecting individuals' rights.
Funding: This project was supported by grant from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH; 5 R01 HD053268-05); Carla Makhlouf Obermeyer (CMO), PI. This support is gratefully acknowledged. The NIH had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. At the time of the study, CMO was a scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO), but WHO did not define the project or influence data collection or interpretation.
Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Citation: Obermeyer CM, Neuman M, Desclaux A, Wanyenze R, Ky-Zerbo O, et al. (2012) Associations between Mode of HIV Testing and Consent, Confidentiality, and Referral: A Comparative Analysis in Four African Countries. PLoS Med 9(10): e1001329. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001329
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Carla Makhlouf Obermeyer
Center for Research on Population and Health
American University of Beirut
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