Who Do You Reach? A Norwegian Pilot Project on HIV Self-Testing that Targeted Men Who Have Sex with Men

  • Vegar BjørnshagenEmail author
  • Bera Ulstein Moseng
  • Elisabeth Ugreninov
Original Paper


HIV self-testing reduces barriers associated with other HIV testing services, such as concerns about confidentiality and inconvenience. This article demonstrates who might benefit from this approach to HIV testing by describing the characteristics of men who have sex with men (MSM) who took interest in a Norwegian pilot project on HIV self-testing. Of the MSM users, 27% reported that they had never been tested for HIV. Not disclosing one’s same-sex sexuality, particularly among non-gay-identified MSM, was associated with a higher probability of never having been tested for HIV and choosing to test with an HIV self-test because of its anonymity. Never having been tested for HIV was also associated with a higher probability of choosing to test with an HIV self-test due to anonymity. The results suggest that the HIV self-tests’ ability to reach MSM who otherwise would not be tested is partly because it is an anonymous HIV testing alternative.


MSM HIV self-testing Anonymity Confidentiality Barriers to HIV testing 



The authors wish to thank two anonymous referees for many helpful comments.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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.Norwegian Social Research (NOVA)OsloMet Oslo Metropolitan UniversityOsloNorway
  2. 2.Gay & Lesbian Health NorwayOsloNorway

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