Is HIV Self-Testing a Potential Answer to the Low Uptake of HIV Testing Services Among Men in Rwanda? Perspectives of Men Attending Tertiary Institutions and Kimisagara Youth Centre in Kigali, Rwanda

  •  Tafadzwa Dzinamarira    
  •  Gashema Pierre    
  •  Nadine Rujeni    


BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE: Rwanda has generally experienced low uptake of HIV testing services among men. However, the reasons behind this have not been researched. The main aim of this study was to explore whether HIV self-testing (HIVST) would have the capacity to improve uptake of HIV testing services among men in Rwanda.

METHODS: We conducted a qualitative study of 22 men attending tertiary institutions and the Kimisagara Youth Centre in Kigali, Rwanda. Data collection was conducted through open interviews. Data analysis was conducted through thematic content analysis.

RESULTS: Our findings revealed that most men had poor knowledge of HIVST, but the majority were willing to adopt it. Four main themes emerged during data analysis. Theme one indicated that men experienced a lack of sufficient information on HIVST. From theme two, it was uncovered that some men were indifferent to HIVST. From theme three, it emerged that most men perceived the cost as the main barrier to HIVST; however, if it was offered free of charge, they were willing to adopt it. Finally, theme four revealed that most men willing to adopt HIVST were concerned about the potential social harm and possible adverse events associated with HIVST.

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