Study Objectives

  1. Assess the acceptability of, obstacles to, and preferred approaches to HIV self-testing in FSW, using qualitative methods.
  2. Evaluate the uptake of HIV self-testing among FSW in Botswana, in a pilot study.

Study Design: Mixed methods study.

Study Population: Two hundred and thirty female sex workers and and five non-governmental organization staff directly supporting FSW in Botswana.

Study Duration: Dec 2018- March 2022.

Sponsor: Harvard University Center for AIDS Research (HU CFAR).

Study Findings

The qualitative study showed that oral HIV self-testing is a highly acceptable method of HIV testing among female sex workers. Implementation of this testing method per our findings should be peer-driven with oversight and guidance from healthcare professionals.

The quantitative study showed that uptake and use of HIV self-testing by FSW in the Gaborone, Botswana region were high, and most women taking home HIV self-test kits also shared a test kit with a partner, family member or friend. Therefore HIV self-testing (and test kit distribution) by FSW appears to be a viable HIV testing approach in Botswana.