MPhil study projects

Assessing the level of knowledge, preferences and uptake of HIV self-testing among mathematics and statistics students

Student: Belinda Roselin Tsauses

Country: Namibia

Prior research indicated an increased inclination towards HIV self-testing (HIVST) among young individuals. A descriptive cross-sectional study utilising quantitative methods was conducted via a web-based survey. The questionnaire collected data on respondents’ sociodemographic characteristics, as well as their knowledge, preferences and uptake of HIVST.

Students achieved an overall knowledge score of 63%. The price range of N$20 to N$40 for HIV rapid diagnostic test (RDT) kits was deemed reasonable by 53% of students, with 72% expressing support for the use of such kits for HIVST. Assisted HIVST was preferred by 44% of participants, while 25% favoured unassisted testing. Privacy and convenience were cited as the main reasons for preferring HIVST. Additionally, 78% expressed willingness to visit facility-based HIV testing services (HTS) for further testing and treatment in case of a positive HIVST result.

The study underscored the strong inclination towards HIVST among young individuals. Assisted HIVST, with guidance from trained providers or peers, was found to be acceptable among students. Addressing knowledge gaps and providing support for HIVST were identified as areas requiring further attention.