M4ID won the Human-Centred Design Challenge to prototype HIV self-testing in Kenya

March 23, 2018

M4ID is one of the six finalists in the Human-centred Design Challenge Fund to prototype new HIV self-testing service delivery models in Kenya. The programme, funded by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), aims to decrease HIV infection among adolescent girls in Kenya by identifying viable prototypes for reaching their male partners with HIV self-testing and its subsequent linkage to care.

Identifying individuals living with HIV and effectively linking them to care is crucial for combatting the ongoing global HIV epidemic.  

“Adolescent girls in Kenya are particularly at risk of contracting the virus as estimated one-third of all new HIV infections in Kenya occur among 15-24-year-old girls and young women,” says M4ID’s Programme Manager Aapo Lunden, explaining the rationale behind the programme. This is due to various risk factors, including the frequency of sexual relationships with older men, who are more likely to have HIV, and be unaware of their status.

Previously these men have been a hard-to-reach group regarding HIV testing because of existing barriers such as distance to clinics, their limited opening hours, and issues of confidentiality. “HIV self-testing is a potential way to overcome these barriers and facilitate care seeking behaviour among the men in question, thus reducing the onward transmission of HIV among adolescent girls,” Lunden continues.

M4ID team will bring to the programme its extensive experience in human-centred design and developing HIV testing services and care models from our current work among adolescents in Tanzania. Our ongoing project, called Next-T, has so far been identifying the different factors and barriers inhibiting the use of the current models for HIV testing and its subsequent linkage to care. Read more about our project here

Text: Petra Sillanpää