Due to the difficulty of conducting laboratory testing during the pandemic shelter-in-place orders, the objective of this study was to examine the feasibility and acceptability of conducting home-collected samples for preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) laboratory tests.
We conducted a pilot study among patients on PrEP in San Francisco primary care clinics. Individuals on PrEP provided home-collected laboratory samples using dried blood spot for fourth-generation human immunodeficiency virus antigen/antibody test, serum creatinine, syphilis antibody, and hepatitis C antibody, as needed; 3-site (oropharyngeal, rectal, and urine) swabbing for sexually transmitted infections; and nasopharyngeal swabbing for SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction. We examined feasibility and acceptability of collecting these laboratory samples using predefined benchmarks to determine feasibility or acceptability.
Of 92 individuals who consented to participate, 73 (79.3%) mailed back their home-collected kit. Nearly 87.7% noted being extremely to moderately satisfied with the ability to complete the laboratory tests without having to come into a clinic. Approximately 49.3% of participants chose this home-collection method as their first choice for providing laboratory samples. Mean time from collection of samples by the participant to receipt of test results was reduced from the first quarter of the study (17 days) to the last quarter of the study (5 days).
We report high levels of feasibility and acceptability with the use of home-collected laboratory samples for patients on PrEP. Our results indicate that home-collected laboratory samples for patients on PrEP is a viable option that should be offered as an alternative to clinic-collected laboratory samples.