We conducted a critical review of the literature on recurrent use of HIV testing in men who have sex with men (MSM). We performed a narrative review of the literature in which we analyzed the various conceptions on frequent testing over time, the implications for health programs, and the main social markers that influence the incorporation of HIV testing as routine care. Although it has existed since the 1990s, recurrent testing among MSM was frequently interpreted as increased exposure to HIV due to lack of condom use, and therefore as "unnecessary" testing. Beginning in the 2000s, periodic testing has become a programmatic recommendation and has been interpreted as a goal. Individuals' perception of their use of the test has rarely been considered in order to characterize such use as routine care. On the social and cultural level, individual aspects associated with recent or routine testing were included in contexts of favorable norms for testing and less AIDS stigma. Differences in generation, schooling, and types of affective-sexual partnerships play an important part in testing. Such differences highlight that the epidemiological category "men who have sex with men" encompasses diverse relations, identities, and practices that result in specific uses of the test as a prevention strategy. Thus, dialogue between programs, health professionals, and the persons most affected by the epidemic is crucial for building responses with real potential to confront the HIV epidemic, based on respect for human rights.