Feasibility of discrete choice experiments to determine preferences for alternative HIV testing options

Universal HIV testing and immediate treatment of HIV-infected individuals could dramatically reduce the HIV epidemic, yet HIV testing uptake in sub-Saharan Africa remains low. In Tanzania, despite improved availability of HIV testing options, nearly two thirds of adults have never tested for HIV. Novel HIV testing options specifically designed to match the preferences of high-risk and hard-to-reach populations hold the potential to improve the acceptability and uptake of HIV testing.  To extend our previous work, which assessed uptake of HIV voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) across varied venues in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania (free-standing, mobile, home-based, and clinic-based VCT), we propose to apply an innovative method for preference elicitation known as Discrete Choice Experiments (DCEs, sometimes referred to as conjoint analysis) to HIV testing in this region. Grounded in the economic theory of utility maximization, the DCE method identifies key modifiable features of HIV testing options, presents survey respondents with various combinations of these features (each representing a hypothetical HIV testing option), and asks them to choose their preferred alternatives. Responses are analyzed to estimate the relative value placed on individual testing features, and to determine what combinations of features most influence decision-making and uptake. 


Active Dates:  2/08/12-1/31/14

Funding Agency:  National Institute of Mental Health – NIH