Pilot study of HIV self-testing as a partner selection strategy

The project explores whether high-risk individuals in Kenya can reduce their exposure to HIV/AIDS if provided with an innovative intervention (multiple HIV self-test kits and counseling) that enables them to more easily screen their sexual partners for HIV and make sexual behavior decisions accordingly. Increasing the uptake of HIV testing and counseling (HTC) in sub-Saharan Africa is essential for improving the effectiveness of HIV treatment and preventing new HIV infections. Among couples, HTC can be useful for sexual decision-making, including marital and fertility decisions. However, uptake of HTC among individuals and couples in sub-Saharan Africa remains low. Although HTC is available free-of-charge in most places, for many individuals and couples the barriers to testing include transportation costs, opportunity costs such as time off from work, and behavioral factors such as a tendency to put off behaviors with immediate costs and delayed benefits. HIV oral self-testing may help overcome several barriers to HIV testing that may increase the number of people aware of their own HIV status and enable individuals to use self-test kits to test their current and potential sexual partners.

Principal Investigator: Harsha Thirumurthy

Funding Source: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Grant Number: OPP1107923

Funding Period: 5/1/2014 - 10/31/2015

Primary Research Area: Population Health,Reproductive Health

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