In April 2013 at the First international symposium on self-testing for HIV: The legal, ethical, gender, human rights and public health implications of self-testing scale-up, key experts and stakeholders found the existing evidence based to limited to develop normative guidance. However experts did recommend WHO & UNAIDS develop a technical update on HIV self-testing.
In March 2014 the WHO released the March 2014 Supplement to the 2013 Consolidated ARV Guidelines, which features a technical update on HIV self-testing in Chapter 5. Then in May 2014 WHO and UNAIDS released a Short Technical Update on HIV self-testing. These documents do not provide normative guidance, but outline the tenants of HIV self-testing and call for researchers, implementers and policy-makers to explore and plan for future policies and programmes that can leverage this new approach as an option to compliment existing HIV testing and counselling strategies.
In July 2015 WHO included HIV self-testing in the Consolidated Guidelines on HIV testing services and encouraged countries to conduct pilot programmes and demonstration projects.
WHO is currently undergoing the process of developing normative guidelines on HIV self-testing: http://www.who.int/hiv/mediacentre/news/hiv-self-testing-2016/en/
As more evidence becomes available, WHO will work to develop guidelines around HIV self-testing. Key evidence needs for developing this guidance include:
- Implementation science
- Multi-country experience
- Best approaches for maximizing uptake & impact for different populations in different settings
- Effective ways to increase linkage to services
- Potential adverse outcomes
- Proven market impact to support price reduction and foster competition by competitors