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Obtaining HIV Test Results With a Home Collection Test Kit in a Community Telephone Sample

Osmond Dennis H.; Catania, Joseph; Pollack, Lance; Canchola, Jesse; Jaffe, Deborah; MacKellar, Duncan; Valleroy, Linda
JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes: August 1st, 2000

Objectives:To test the feasibility of obtaining HIV test results by home collection kit from a probability telephone sample of men who have sex with men (MSM).

Methods:A quota sample of 615 MSM previously interviewed by the Urban Men's Health Study phone survey in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco were re-contacted and offered an HIV test using an oral specimen (Orasure) home collection kit.

Results:Eighty percent consented to be mailed a kit, and 84% returned a specimen, for a 67% participation rate. All self-reported HIV-positive persons tested positive (77 of 77); 4 of 266 (1.5%) with a prior negative test and 2 of 69 (2.9%) with no prior positive HIV test result. Participation was associated with self-reported prior HIV test status—HIV-positive (83%), HIV-negative (68%), or no prior HIV test result (54%)—and marginally associated with New York City residence after adjustment for HIV status (odds ratio = 0.7; 95% confidence interval, 0.4-1.1; p = .08).

Conclusions:These results suggest that urban MSM identified and interviewed by telephone will participate in home collection HIV testing. This methodology could be used to produce population-based estimates of HIV seroprevalence and seroincidence in MSM and could probably be extended to other populations and other viral infections.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dennis H. Osmond, Box 0886, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, U.S.A.; email:

Manuscript received February 2, 2000; accepted April 18, 2000.

© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.