HIV self-testing (HIV ST) has been associated with certain benefits such as increased access to testing and earlier diagnosis for people living with HIV, experiences of convenience, autonomy, and privacy when testing. This is important especially for individuals who don’t use the existing HTS strategies due to avoidance or lack of opportunity to make contact with health care providers where HIV testing is offered. Key populations (including men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers & people who inject drugs) may benefit from self-testing, as might members of the general population (including health workers, couples and partners, sero-discordant partners, adolescents and re-testers) in areas with a high prevalence of HIV.
In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched the HIV self-testing guidelines thus paving the way for countries and programs to adopt them and develop country-specific self-testing guidelines. Kenya has developed HIV ST guidelines that are targeted for rollout soon.
Meet the Speakers
Dr. Miriam Taegtmeyer
Dr. Miriam Taegtmeyer is a public health researcher, practising clinician and qualified teacher. Her research in the complementary areas of HIV testing and counselling, community health equity and intimate partner violence has directly impacted public health through improved uptake and retention in the HIV cascade and through improved quality of community health services. She is currently the principle investigator of the REACHOUT and SQALE projects investigating community health equity and effectiveness in 6 countries and leads the qualitative research network of the STAR consortium. In 2015 she was included in the Graduate Institute list of 300 Women Leaders in Global Health.
Cheryl Johnson is a Technical Officer within the HIV Department at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, who focuses on providing country and policy support on HIV testing services programmes, and is actively supporting many countries seeking to introduce and implement HIV self-testing. Most recently she led the development of the WHO Consolidated guidelines on HIV testing services in 2015, as well as the development of the 2016 WHO guidelines on HIV self-testing and partner notification. As part of her she role, she is also the WHO lead for the Self-Testing Africa (STAR) Project in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Dr. Sarah Masyuko, MBChB, MPH
Dr. Sarah Masyuko is currently the lead of the HIV Testing Services and Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) program at the National AIDS and STI Control Program (NASCOP) with the Kenyan Ministry of Health. She is currently leading the team rolling out HIV self testing and assisted partner services in Kenya. She is interested in implementation science with the direct translation of research results into practice in Kenya health programs.