Original Research

Evaluation of a mobile application to support HIV self-testing in Johannesburg, South Africa

Natasha Gous, Alex E. Fischer, Naleni Rhagnath, Mothepane Phatsoane, Mohammed Majam, Samanta T. Lalla-Edward
Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine | Vol 21, No 1 | a1088 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhivmed.v21i1.1088 | © 2020 Natasha Gous, Alex E. Fischer, Naleni Rhagnath, Mothepane Phatsoane, Mohammed Majam, Samanta T. Lalla-Edward | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 March 2020 | Published: 30 June 2020

About the author(s)

Natasha Gous, SystemOne, LLC, Weltevreden Park, South Africa
Alex E. Fischer, Ezintsha, Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Naleni Rhagnath, Ezintsha, Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Mothepane Phatsoane, Ezintsha, Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Mohammed Majam, Ezintsha, Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Samanta T. Lalla-Edward, Ezintsha, Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

Background: Human immunodeficiency virus self-testing (HIVST) reduces barriers associated with facility-based testing; however, no formal mechanism exists for users to self-report results or link to care. The AspectTM HIVST mobile application (app) was developed for use in South Africa.

Objectives: This study evaluated the acceptability and feasibility of the AspectTM HIVST app for individuals from the inner city of Johannesburg.

Method: This cross-sectional pilot, with a convenience sample of 300 adults, was conducted in July 2018. Participants were provided an OraQuick HIVST kit and a smartphone preloaded with the app, then asked to follow the in-app instructions for use (IFU) to complete the HIVST and upload results. Trained healthcare workers (HCWs) observed and recorded any deviations from the IFU, and conducted a post-test survey to assess acceptability. Feasibility was evaluated by the number of participants who agreed to participate, completed the self-test, and uploaded all information onto the app correctly.

Results: Most participants (98.7%) found the app easy to use. To reduce difficulties related to the IFU (26; 8.7%), participants suggested multimedia supplements (4; 1.3%), additional languages (4; 1.3%) and simplified instructions (5; 1.7%). All individuals approached, agreed to participate, 267 (89.0%) correctly completed all steps and 210 (78.7%) successfully captured all information on the app. Most errors (26; 8.7%) were testing errors and 1 (0.3%) was from the app sequence. Twelve (4.5%) errors were with test strip imaging and 72 (27.0%) discordances were with demographic information.

Conclusion: Despite some challenges with IFU interpretation and data capture via the app, this pilot showed that the AspectTM HIVST app is an acceptable way to upload mobile HIVST results and demographic information to a central database.


Keywords

HIV self-test; digitisation; mobile app; monitoring and evaluation; digital health

Metrics

Total abstract views: 156
Total article views: 88


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.