“If you don’t have the courage to go get a test, you won’t have the courage to go for treatment”: Consumer Perspectives on the Introduction of HIVST in Central America (WEPEC187)


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The introduction HIV self-testing (HIVST) could overcome stigma-related barriers to HIV testing among Central America”s vulnerable populations. The Pan American Social Marketing Organization, through the USAID Combination Prevention Program in Central America, explored knowledge and acceptability of HIVST among vulnerable populations in four studies. This analysis summarizes HIVST knowledge and intentions among men who have sex with men (MSM), online MSM and female sex workers (FSW), and describes factors that may support or hinder the success of HIVST introduction in Central America. The results presented come from four 2017 research studies: population-based RDS/time location studies among 1922 MSM and 617 FSW in three Honduran cities; an online study among a convenience sample of 622 MSM residing in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama; and an ethnographic study among 50 NGO-affiliated MSM and transgender women (TW) in Guatemala.