Applying a social-ecological lens to opinions about HIV self-testing among Kenyan truckers who declined to test: a qualitative study

  • Stephanie N. Christian
  • Joanne E. Mantell
  • Matthew L. Romo
  • Christian Grov
  • Gavin George
  • Eva Mwai
  • Eston Nyaga
  • Jacob O. Odhiambo
  • Kaymarlin Govender
  • Elizabeth A. Kelvin


HIV prevalence among truckers in Africa is high and testing rates suboptimal. With numerous African countries having approved HIV self-testing  kits, more information on how to design acceptable and accessible self-testing programs for high-risk populations is necessary. We explored views about self-testing via in-depth interviews with 24 truckers participating in a randomised controlled trial who refused HIV testing. A social-ecological lens was used to guide data analysis and frame study findings. While most participants said that they would use an HIV self-test, perceived barriers and facilitators were identified at multiple levels. Many participants noted lack of time to test or obtain a self-test kit as a major barrier  (intrapersonal) and varied in their views about self-testing with a partner (interpersonal). Participants offered programmatic/policy  recommendations, suggesting that they preferred accessing self-test kits in settings where training could be provided. Participants believed they should be able to pick up multiple test kits at the same time and that the test kits should be free or low cost. These study findings will help guide the design of self-testing programs for truckers and other mobile populations.

Keywords: Kenya, self-administered HIV testing, social-ecological model, truck drivers


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1608-5906
print ISSN: 1727-9445