Serological tests can distinguish recent (in the prior 12 months) from long-term HIV infection. Integrating recency testing into routine HIV testing
services (HTS) can provide important information on transmission clusters and prioritize clients for partner testing. This study assessed the feasibility and utility of integrating HIV recency into routine testing.
We conducted a multi-method study at fourteen facilities in Kenya, and key informant interviews with healthcare providers. We abstracted clinical record data, collected specimens, tested specimens for recent infection, returned results to participants, and conducted a follow-up survey for those recently infected.
From March to October 2018, we enrolled 532 clients who were diagnosed HIV positive for the first time. Of these, 46 (8.6%) were recently infected. Women aged 15- 24 years had 2.9 (95% CI, 1.46-5.78) times higher adjusted odds of recent infection compared to 15-24-year-old men and those tested within the past 12 months having 2.55 (95% CI .38-4.70) times higher adjusted odds compared to those tested ≥12 months previously. Fourteen of seventeen providers interviewed found the integration of receny testing into routine HTS services acceptable and feasible. Among clients who completed the follow up interview, majority (92%) felt that the recency results were useful.
Integrating recent infection testing into routine HTS services in Kenya is feasible and largely acceptable to clients and providers. More studies should be done on possible physical and social harms related to returning results, and the best uses of the recent infection data at an individual and population level.