AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 860–874 | Cite as

A Systematic Review of Interventions that Promote Frequent HIV Testing

  • Margaret M. Paschen-WolffEmail author
  • Arjee Restar
  • Anisha D. Gandhi
  • Stephanie Serafino
  • Theodorus Sandfort
Substantive Review


As of 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) HIV testing guidelines recommend that those at increased risk for HIV are tested two to four times per year. Evidence-based interventions that promote frequent and repeated testing remain sparse. We conducted a systematic review to: (1) identify frequent testing interventions; and (2) determine which were successful in increasing frequent testing rates. We searched PubMed, PsycINFO, Web of Science, Embase, and CINAHL for peer-reviewed articles published between January 1, 2010 and September 30, 2017. Ten studies met inclusion criteria. Operationalization of frequent HIV testing varied widely across studies. Four interventions involved text message reminders for HIV testing, three involved community-based testing, two self-testing, and one rapid testing. Text message reminder interventions were most successful in increasing rates of frequent HIV testing. Future research should standardize frequent testing measurement to allow for more robust comparisons of intervention efficacy.


HIV testing Repeat HIV testing Community-based testing HIV self-testing SMS reminders 


A partir de 2017, las directrices de los Centros para el Control y Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC, por sus siglas en Ingles) recomiendan que las personas con mayor riesgo para el VIH se realicen la prueba del VIH de dos a cuatro veces al año. Las intervenciones basadas en evidencia que promueven realizarse pruebas frecuentes y repetidas siguen escasas. Realizamos una revisión sistemática para: (1) identificar intervenciones que promuevan pruebas frecuentas, y (2) determinar cuales tuvieron éxito en incrementar las tasas pruebas frecuentes. Se realizaron búsquedas en PubMed, PsycINFO, Web of Science, Embase, y CINAHL para identificar artículos revisados por pares publicados entre el 1 de enero de 2010 y el 30 de septiembre de 2017. Diez estudios cumplieron los criterios de inclusión. La operacionalización de pruebas frecuentes del VIH varió ampliamente entre los estudios. Cuatro de las intervenciones incluyeron el uso de recordatorios por mensajes de texto para las pruebas de VIH, tres involucraron el uso de pruebas de VIH en comunidades, dos incluyeron el uso de la auto-prueba y una intervención incluyó el uso de pruebas rápidas. Las intervenciones usando recordatorios por mensajes de texto fueron más exitosas en incrementar las tasas de realizarse pruebas frecuentes. Las investigaciones futuras deberían de estandarizar la medición de pruebas frecuentes para permitir mejores comparaciones de eficacia de intervenciones.



This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health, R21-MH103032 (Sandfort & Tsoi), T32-MH019139 (Sandfort), and P30-MH43520 (Remien). Dr. Margaret Paschen-Wolff and Dr. Anisha Gandhi were supported by a training grant (T32 MH019139; PI: Theodorus Sandfort, Ph.D.) from the National Institute of Mental Health at the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at the NY State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University (P30-MH43520; Center Principal Investigator: Robert Remien, Ph.D.). The authors wish to acknowledge and thank Javier López Rios, MPH for the Spanish translation of the abstract.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors (Paschen-Wolff, Restar, Gandhi, Serafino, and Sandfort) declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division on Substance Use Disorders, Department of PsychiatryNew York State Psychiatric Institute at Columbia University Irving Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Behavioral and Social SciencesBrown University School of Public HealthProvidenceUSA
  3. 3.Division on Gender, Sexuality, and Health, Department of Psychiatry, HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral StudiesNew York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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