3ie is pleased to announce six awards to conduct formative research related to the design, implementation, and evaluation of interventions using HIV oral self-tests in the Republic of Kenya.
The awards have been made under Phase I of 3ie’s Thematic Window 2 on HIV Self-Testing.
Although HIV self-tests may be a useful tool for encouraging individuals to know their status, little is known about potential users, methods of delivery, and linkage to care. Critically, more knowledge about potential social harms is vital for policymakers and health-care providers seeking to make self-tests available as a method to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The studies produced will inform Phase II of the thematic window, which will provide grants for pilot programmes using HIV oral self-tests to be implemented and evaluated using rapid impact evaluations.
To read more about the pilot interventions and impact evaluations being funded, visit the Thematic Window 2 Phase I Award Winners page.
Phase I of Thematic Window 2 is coordinated with Kenyan National STI & AIDS Control Programme (NASCOP) and with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Kenyan government is a strong proponent of innovative methods for HIV prevention and treatment. The government has successfully implemented home-based HIV testing, and they are interested in research that will provide insights for the design of a HIV self-testing programme. With their experience and knowledge of HIV prevention programmes and the Kenyan context, NASCOP was a prime partner for this grant window.
3ie identified a number of key questions related to HIV self-tests by reviewing self-testing and rapid diagnostic testing literature and by meeting with key stakeholders in Kenya. 3ie and NASCOP selected six of these questions in a request for applications, with the intention of funding at least one project addressing each question. The call was open to organisations implementing HIV/AIDS programmes in Kenya.
- Question 1: Is the use of the oral self-test in real-life situations in Kenya accurate (including both sensitivity and specificity)?
- Question 2: How should oral self-tests be packaged and labeled?
- Question 3: Who is likely to seek oral self-testing? What are the incentives of different types of individuals to self-test? What messaging and other methods might be effective for increasing the acceptability and demand for self-tests, particularly among groups that self-testing might want to target?
- Question 4: What are likely to be the most effective and efficient outlets and/or networks for distributing self-tests to potential users? What programme design features might be specific to different distribution outlets?
- Question 5: What methods are likely to be effective for ensuring counselling and linkage to care for those using self-tests?
- Question 6: What are the potential social harms from the availability and use of self-tests? How might risks, such as self-tests administered to others by coercion, be avoided?
About this call
The Request for Applications for this call closed in March, 2013. For more information, please see TW2 Request for Applications.
3ie received 21 proposals in response to this call. Each of the proposals was reviewed and scored according to a pre-selected set of weights and criteria by an internal reviewer, a representative of NASCOP, a representative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and an external reviewer with expertise in HIV prevention research. The same reviewers met as a selection panel to determine award winners. 3ie recognizes these individuals for their role in the selection process.
Final approval of awards is made by the 3ie Board of Commissioners.
Thematic Window 2, Phase I external reviewers and selection panelists
Paulin Basinga, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Anne Ng’ang’a, National AIDS & STI Control Programme - NASCOP
William Maina, National AIDS & STI Control Programme – NASCOP
Elizabeth Marum, World Health Organization
Christine Rousseau, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation