PRESS RELEASE: Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation study finds HIV self-testing highly acceptable for adolescent use


Cape Town, South Africa | The Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation has successfully completed an acceptability and usability study on HIV self-testing using the Atomo HIV Self Test. With 224 participants enrolled, the study provides valuable information into one potential avenue to rapidly expand HIV testing services, which is the gateway to HIV prevention.

The participants were self-enrolling adolescents and young adults, of which 20% had not had an HIV test done before and therefore a self-test was their first experience. After receiving some product familiarisation, 96.4% of the participants were able to successfully complete the self-test and correctly read and interpret their results. With the remaining 3.6% who failed the first time, all eight of them were able to successfully complete the test on the second turn and were aware that they had failed to complete the first time. This resulted in a high level of satisfaction, with users rating the Atomo HIV Self Test a 4 out of 5 for usability and a 4.2 out of 5 for acceptability.

“These results are extremely encouraging to see and shows us that feasible and usable complementary options exist to traditional HCT [HIV counselling and testing] facilities based testing,” said Professor Linda-Gail Bekker, Chief Operating Officer of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation. “In order to meet the UN’s 90-90-90 Goals, a serious scale up of testing is going to need to take place and the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation believes that HIV self-testing can support this.”

Atomo Diagnostics and the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation will continue to work together to conduct additional research and ensure that a high quality self-test is being brought to market.

John Kelly, CEO of Atomo Diagnostics said “the results of this study are proof that through our collaborative commercialisation approach, Atomo is designing products that meet the needs of our users and allow our partners to expand testing programs where it is most needed. Since completion of this study, further optimisation of our self-test solution has taken place and will be ready for the market in 2016.”

About Atomo Diagnostics
Atomo Diagnostics is an award-winning Australian based healthcare company that develops and commercialises next generation solutions addressing unmet user needs in the diagnostic industry.


About the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation
The Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation is a multi-award winning organisation in pursuit of excellence in research, training, prevention and treatment of HIV and related diseases in South Africa.