Starting a Home and Mobile HIV Testing Service in a Rural Area of South Africa
Objective—To compare users of a home and mobile HIV counseling and testing service implemented in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Methods—Communities of similar population size and density were allocated HIV counseling and testing provision be either home or mobile services. Uptake of services was compared, including results from a brief questionnaire. Results—Majority of individuals proceeded to test. Mobile services reported a higher proportion of clients who were male (41% vs. 31%; P < 0.001), younger than 25 years (53% vs. 28%; P < 0.001), single (66% vs. 40%; P < 0.001), and never previously tested (62% vs. 56%; P = 0.003). Home services reported a higher proportion of clients older than of 35 years (56% vs. 35%; P < 0.001) and married/partner (43% vs. 30%; P < 0.001). HIV prevalence amongst clients of the 2 services was comparable, with both services testing more clients daily than the local primary health care clinics, but similar to the local hospital. Conclusions—The numbers tested, different populations reached, and high detection rates suggest both modalities have an important role to play, especially in rural communities where cost of transport may be a deterrent.