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Attitudes and Acceptability on HIV Self-testing Among Key Populations: A Literature Review

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      Abstract

      HIV self-testing (HIVST) is a potential strategy to overcome disparities in access to and uptake of HIV testing, particularly among key populations (KP). A literature review was conducted on the acceptability, values and preferences among KP. Data was analyzed by country income World Bank classification, type of specimen collection, level of support offered and other qualitative aspects. Most studies identified were from high-income countries and among men who have sex with men (MSM) who found HIVST to be acceptable. In general, MSM were interested in HIVST because of its convenient and private nature. However, they had concerns about the lack of counseling, possible user error and accuracy. Data on the values and preferences of other KP groups regarding HIVST is limited. This should be a research priority, as HIVST is likely to become more widely available, including in resource-limited settings.

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      The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10461-015-1097-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

      Resumen

      Autoexaminarse para el VIH con una prueba casera, podría reducir las disparidades del acceso al diagnóstico del VIH, especialmente entre grupos de población claves. Revisamos la literatura disponible sobre la aceptabilidad, los valores y preferencias de la prueba casera en estos grupos de población. Analizamos los datos según el ingreso del país utilizando la clasificación del Banco Mundial, el tipo de muestra, la supervisión ofrecida y otros aspectos cualitativos. La mayoría de los estudios identificados fueron en países con ingresos elevados y con hombres que tienen sexo con hombres (HSH), quienes reportaron una alta aceptabilidad de la prueba casera, debido a su practicidad y privacidad; aunque les preocupaba la falta de asesoramiento, el posible error de usuario y la precisión de la prueba. Existe poca información sobre los valores y preferencias acerca de la prueba casera en otros grupos de población vulnerable. Considerando el aumento de su disponibilidad, incluso en países con pocos recursos, debería ser un área prioritaria en la investigación.

      Electronic supplementary material

      The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10461-015-1097-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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      Most cited references 36

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      The Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) Statement: Guidelines for Reporting Observational Studies

      Introduction Many questions in medical research are investigated in observational studies [1]. Much of the research into the cause of diseases relies on cohort, case-control, or cross-sectional studies. Observational studies also have a role in research into the benefits and harms of medical interventions [2]. Randomised trials cannot answer all important questions about a given intervention. For example, observational studies are more suitable to detect rare or late adverse effects of treatments, and are more likely to provide an indication of what is achieved in daily medical practice [3]. Research should be reported transparently so that readers can follow what was planned, what was done, what was found, and what conclusions were drawn. The credibility of research depends on a critical assessment by others of the strengths and weaknesses in study design, conduct, and analysis. Transparent reporting is also needed to judge whether and how results can be included in systematic reviews [4,5]. However, in published observational research important information is often missing or unclear. An analysis of epidemiological studies published in general medical and specialist journals found that the rationale behind the choice of potential confounding variables was often not reported [6]. Only few reports of case-control studies in psychiatry explained the methods used to identify cases and controls [7]. In a survey of longitudinal studies in stroke research, 17 of 49 articles (35%) did not specify the eligibility criteria [8]. Others have argued that without sufficient clarity of reporting, the benefits of research might be achieved more slowly [9], and that there is a need for guidance in reporting observational studies [10,11]. Recommendations on the reporting of research can improve reporting quality. The Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) Statement was developed in 1996 and revised 5 years later [12]. Many medical journals supported this initiative [13], which has helped to improve the quality of reports of randomised trials [14,15]. Similar initiatives have followed for other research areas—e.g., for the reporting of meta-analyses of randomised trials [16] or diagnostic studies [17]. We established a network of methodologists, researchers, and journal editors to develop recommendations for the reporting of observational research: the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) Statement. Aims and Use of the STROBE Statement The STROBE Statement is a checklist of items that should be addressed in articles reporting on the 3 main study designs of analytical epidemiology: cohort, case-control, and cross-sectional studies. The intention is solely to provide guidance on how to report observational research well: these recommendations are not prescriptions for designing or conducting studies. Also, while clarity of reporting is a prerequisite to evaluation, the checklist is not an instrument to evaluate the quality of observational research. Here we present the STROBE Statement and explain how it was developed. In a detailed companion paper, the Explanation and Elaboration article [18–20], we justify the inclusion of the different checklist items and give methodological background and published examples of what we consider transparent reporting. We strongly recommend using the STROBE checklist in conjunction with the explanatory article, which is available freely on the Web sites of PLoS Medicine (http://www.plosmedicine.org/), Annals of Internal Medicine (http://www.annals.org/), and Epidemiology (http://www.epidem.com/). Development of the STROBE Statement We established the STROBE Initiative in 2004, obtained funding for a workshop and set up a Web site (http://www.strobe-statement.org/). We searched textbooks, bibliographic databases, reference lists, and personal files for relevant material, including previous recommendations, empirical studies of reporting and articles describing relevant methodological research. Because observational research makes use of many different study designs, we felt that the scope of STROBE had to be clearly defined early on. We decided to focus on the 3 study designs that are used most widely in analytical observational research: cohort, case-control, and cross-sectional studies. We organised a 2-day workshop in Bristol, UK, in September 2004. 23 individuals attended this meeting, including editorial staff from Annals of Internal Medicine, BMJ, Bulletin of the World Health Organization, International Journal of Epidemiology, JAMA, Preventive Medicine, and The Lancet, as well as epidemiologists, methodologists, statisticians, and practitioners from Europe and North America. Written contributions were sought from 10 other individuals who declared an interest in contributing to STROBE, but could not attend. Three working groups identified items deemed to be important to include in checklists for each type of study. A provisional list of items prepared in advance (available from our Web site) was used to facilitate discussions. The 3 draft checklists were then discussed by all participants and, where possible, items were revised to make them applicable to all three study designs. In a final plenary session, the group decided on the strategy for finalizing and disseminating the STROBE Statement. After the workshop we drafted a combined checklist including all three designs and made it available on our Web site. We invited participants and additional scientists and editors to comment on this draft checklist. We subsequently published 3 revisions on the Web site, and 2 summaries of comments received and changes made. During this process the coordinating group (i.e., the authors of the present paper) met on eight occasions for 1 or 2 days and held several telephone conferences to revise the checklist and to prepare the present paper and the Explanation and Elaboration paper [18–20]. The coordinating group invited 3 additional co-authors with methodological and editorial expertise to help write the Explanation and Elaboration paper, and sought feedback from more than 30 people, who are listed at the end of this paper. We allowed several weeks for comments on subsequent drafts of the paper and reminded collaborators about deadlines by e-mail. STROBE Components The STROBE Statement is a checklist of 22 items that we consider essential for good reporting of observational studies (Table 1). These items relate to the article's title and abstract (item 1), the introduction (items 2 and 3), methods (items 4–12), results (items 13–17) and discussion sections (items 18–21), and other information (item 22 on funding). 18 items are common to all three designs, while four (items 6, 12, 14, and 15) are design-specific, with different versions for all or part of the item. For some items (indicated by asterisks), information should be given separately for cases and controls in case-control studies, or exposed and unexposed groups in cohort and cross-sectional studies. Although presented here as a single checklist, separate checklists are available for each of the 3 study designs on the STROBE Web site. Table 1 The STROBE Statement—Checklist of Items That Should Be Addressed in Reports of Observational Studies Implications and Limitations The STROBE Statement was developed to assist authors when writing up analytical observational studies, to support editors and reviewers when considering such articles for publication, and to help readers when critically appraising published articles. We developed the checklist through an open process, taking into account the experience gained with previous initiatives, in particular CONSORT. We reviewed the relevant empirical evidence as well as methodological work, and subjected consecutive drafts to an extensive iterative process of consultation. The checklist presented here is thus based on input from a large number of individuals with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. The comprehensive explanatory article [18–20], which is intended for use alongside the checklist, also benefited greatly from this consultation process. Observational studies serve a wide range of purposes, on a continuum from the discovery of new findings to the confirmation or refutation of previous findings [18–20]. Some studies are essentially exploratory and raise interesting hypotheses. Others pursue clearly defined hypotheses in available data. In yet another type of studies, the collection of new data is planned carefully on the basis of an existing hypothesis. We believe the present checklist can be useful for all these studies, since the readers always need to know what was planned (and what was not), what was done, what was found, and what the results mean. We acknowledge that STROBE is currently limited to three main observational study designs. We would welcome extensions that adapt the checklist to other designs—e.g., case-crossover studies or ecological studies—and also to specific topic areas. Four extensions are now available for the CONSORT statement [21–24]. A first extension to STROBE is underway for gene-disease association studies: the STROBE Extension to Genetic Association studies (STREGA) initiative [25]. We ask those who aim to develop extensions of the STROBE Statement to contact the coordinating group first to avoid duplication of effort. The STROBE Statement should not be interpreted as an attempt to prescribe the reporting of observational research in a rigid format. The checklist items should be addressed in sufficient detail and with clarity somewhere in an article, but the order and format for presenting information depends on author preferences, journal style, and the traditions of the research field. For instance, we discuss the reporting of results under a number of separate items, while recognizing that authors might address several items within a single section of text or in a table. Also, item 22, on the source of funding and the role of funders, could be addressed in an appendix or in the methods section of the article. We do not aim at standardising reporting. Authors of randomised clinical trials were asked by an editor of a specialist medical journal to “CONSORT” their manuscripts on submission [26]. We believe that manuscripts should not be “STROBEd”, in the sense of regulating style or terminology. We encourage authors to use narrative elements, including the description of illustrative cases, to complement the essential information about their study, and to make their articles an interesting read [27]. We emphasise that the STROBE Statement was not developed as a tool for assessing the quality of published observational research. Such instruments have been developed by other groups and were the subject of a recent systematic review [28]. In the Explanation and Elaboration paper, we used several examples of good reporting from studies whose results were not confirmed in further research – the important feature was the good reporting, not whether the research was of good quality. However, if STROBE is adopted by authors and journals, issues such as confounding, bias, and generalisability could become more transparent, which might help temper the over-enthusiastic reporting of new findings in the scientific community and popular media [29], and improve the methodology of studies in the long term. Better reporting may also help to have more informed decisions about when new studies are needed, and what they should address. We did not undertake a comprehensive systematic review for each of the checklist items and sub-items, or do our own research to fill gaps in the evidence base. Further, although no one was excluded from the process, the composition of the group of contributors was influenced by existing networks and was not representative in terms of geography (it was dominated by contributors from Europe and North America) and probably was not representative in terms of research interests and disciplines. We stress that STROBE and other recommendations on the reporting of research should be seen as evolving documents that require continual assessment, refinement, and, if necessary, change. We welcome suggestions for the further dissemination of STROBE—e.g., by re-publication of the present article in specialist journals and in journals published in other languages. Groups or individuals who intend to translate the checklist to other languages should consult the coordinating group beforehand. We will revise the checklist in the future, taking into account comments, criticism, new evidence, and experience from its use. We invite readers to submit their comments via the STROBE Web site (http://www.strobe-statement.org/).
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        Burden of HIV among female sex workers in low-income and middle-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

        Female sex workers are a population who are at heightened risk of HIV infection secondary to biological, behavioural, and structural risk factors. However, three decades into the HIV pandemic, understanding of the burden of HIV among these women remains limited. We aimed to assess the burden of HIV in this population compared with that of other women of reproductive age. We searched PubMed, Embase, Global Health, SCOPUS, PsycINFO, Sociological Abstracts, CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature), Web of Science, and POPLine for studies of female sex workers in low-income and middle-income countries published between Jan 1, 2007, and June 25, 2011. Studies of any design that measured the prevalence or incidence of HIV among female sex workers, even if sex workers were not the main focus of the study, were included. Meta-analyses were done with the Mantel-Haenszel method with a random-effects model characterising an odds ratio for the prevalence of HIV among female sex workers compared with that for all women of reproductive age. Of 434 selected articles and surveillance reports, 102 were included in the analyses, representing 99,878 female sex workers in 50 countries. The overall HIV prevalence was 11·8% (95% CI 11·6-12·0) with a pooled odds ratio for HIV infection of 13·5 (95% CI 10·0-18·1) with wide intraregional ranges in the pooled HIV prevalence and odds ratios for HIV infection. In 26 countries with medium and high background HIV prevalence, 30·7% (95% CI 30·2-31·3; 8627 of 28,075) of sex workers were HIV-positive and the odds ratio for infection was 11·6 (95% CI 9·1-14·8). Although data characterising HIV risk among female sex workers is scarce, the burden of disease is disproportionately high. These data suggest an urgent need to scale up access to quality HIV prevention programmes. Considerations of the legal and policy environments in which sex workers operate and actions to address the important role of stigma, discrimination, and violence targeting female sex workers is needed. The World Bank, UN Population Fund. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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          Worldwide burden of HIV in transgender women: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

          Previous systematic reviews have identified a high prevalence of HIV infection in transgender women in the USA and in those who sell sex (compared with both female and male sex workers). However, little is known about the burden of HIV infection in transgender women worldwide. We aimed to better assess the relative HIV burden in all transgender women worldwide. We did a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies that assessed HIV infection burdens in transgender women that were published between Jan 1, 2000, and Nov 30, 2011. Meta-analysis was completed with the Mantel-Haenszel method, and random-effects modelling was used to compare HIV burdens in transgender women with that in adults in the countries for which data were available. Data were only available for countries with male-predominant HIV epidemics, which included the USA, six Asia-Pacific countries, five in Latin America, and three in Europe. The pooled HIV prevalence was 19·1% (95% CI 17·4-20·7) in 11 066 transgender women worldwide. In 7197 transgender women sampled in ten low-income and middle-income countries, HIV prevalence was 17·7% (95% CI 15·6-19·8). In 3869 transgender women sampled in five high-income countries, HIV prevalence was 21·6% (95% CI 18·8-24·3). The odds ratio for being infected with HIV in transgender women compared with all adults of reproductive age across the 15 countries was 48·8 (95% CI 21·2-76·3) and did not differ for those in low-income and middle-income countries compared with those in high-income countries. Our findings suggest that transgender women are a very high burden population for HIV and are in urgent need of prevention, treatment, and care services. The meta-analysis showed remarkable consistency and severity of the HIV disease burden among transgender women. Center for AIDS Research at Johns Hopkins and the Center for Public Health and Human Rights at the JHU Bloomberg School of Public Health. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [ ]Escuela Nacional de Salud Pública, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain
            [ ]HIV/AIDS Department, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
            Contributors
            karrleen@hotmail.com
            Journal
            AIDS Behav
            AIDS Behav
            AIDS and Behavior
            Springer US (New York )
            1090-7165
            1573-3254
            9 June 2015
            9 June 2015
            2015
            : 19
            : 11
            : 1949-1965
            26054390 4598350 1097 10.1007/s10461-015-1097-8
            © The Author(s) 2015

            Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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            © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

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