27Nov2022
360 Health Systems Development Initiative Improving access to quality of life for all
HIV ProjectsHIVST

HIV Self-testing in Rivers State

360 HSDI implemented the HIVST STAR project with funding from JHPIEGO. The project was aimed at increasing the uptake of HIVST and referral for linkage of identified positive persons in the rural areas of Rivers state and as a complement for regular RTKs. The self-test kit is easy to use as an oral screening tool for HIV before a proper confirmatory test is done at the facility. The HIVST targeted seven (7) LGAs (Degema, Bonny, Okrika, Khana, Ikwerre, Onelga, and Gokana) in Rivers state to identify HIV-positive cases. Through active HIV self-test distribution and linkage program, the team utilized a door-to-door approach, park/transport centers, bunks, bars, hotspot mapping amongst other strategies to reach the sensitive target populations, identify positive persons and enroll them into ART care.

During the implementation period of the HIVST project, to achieve both distribution and positivity targets, several approaches were utilized to meet different the respective populations. Our teams used both the direct-assist method where we support the participants to carry out the test on themselves and the indirect distribution model where the mode of usage has been explained to the user to carry out the test in the comfort and privacy of their homes or handed to their partner for use. The beneficiaries of the HIVST were in two categories, precisely adult men (general population men) and key population (KP communities). Adult men comprise men of sexual adult age living within the local government area and the respective communities. These men were the target population for the HIVST with their social and biological networks. Similarly, we distributed the HIVST amongst the key population communities which comprise men who have sex with men (MSM), female sex workers (FSWs), and people who inject drugs (PWIDs). Within the five months of implementing the HIVST project in Rivers state, we received a total of 16,600 HIVST kits for distribution. We distributed a total of 15,435 HIVST kits amongst 7 LGAs in Rivers state with a 93% achievement. During this period of implementing the HIVST project in Rivers state, we identified 121 reactive cases, confirmed 94, and successfully linked 92 positives to ART care in the facility. In the future, we look forward to distributing all HIV kits allocated to us, we intend to be more targeted and improve positivity yield to support the program goals.

Comment(01)

  1. HIV Self-Testing Kits could be the game changer in ensuring that the remain set of hidden HIV cases are diagnosed and linked to treatment. Great work.

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