Thematic Window HIV Self-Testing, Uganda

3ie requested proposals from organisations to implement projects, which include a pilot intervention to use HIV self-tests in Uganda as well as an impact evaluation of that pilot intervention.

These studies are expected to produce robust and actionable findings on how to promote safe and effective oral HIV self-testing as an additional testing option for checking HIV status in Uganda. 

This grant window is designed to provide the Government of Uganda the evidence they want and need to best incorporate HIV self-tests into their national HIV and AIDS programme.

For more information and instructions on how to apply, please download the Request for proposals (RFP) (292.7 KB)

This call is now closed. The deadline for this RFQ was 23:59 GMT, 29 September 2015.

3ie is making available answers to the questions it received regarding this RFP. The deadline for submitting questions was 1 September 2015. Please download the  Q&A document (125.2 KB)

Any other queries regarding this RFP should be submitted to

Award Winners

The causal impact of oral HIV self-testing via peer educator networks on HIV testing rates among female sex workers in Kampala, Uganda

Principal investigator: Till Bärnighausen
Organisation: Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health

The study seeks to evaluate the impact of distributing oral HIV self-testing (HIVST) kits through an established network of trained female sex worker (FSW) peer educators on rates of HIV testing, knowledge of HIV status and feelings of empowerment among FSWs based in Kampala. The study will randomly assign 600 FSWs from 100 hot spots into two treatment arms. The first study arm, which is the intervention group, will have HIVST distributed to women via peer educators. The second study arm will have women receive referral by peer educators to standard HIV testing services. Women in both groups will receive information about HIV transmission, HIV risk reduction counselling, and provision of condoms. Peer educators will inform participants in both arms of various FSW-friendly HIV testing options in Kampala. In the intervention group, peer educators will additionally give a brief overview of oral HIVST, and explanation of kit use, and an oral HIVST kit, with a second kit for provided for testing after three months. Follow-up assessments will be conducted by trained research assistants at one and four months.

The study will provide significant information on whether or not provision of HIVST via peer networks is a viable mechanism for distributing kits and ultimately improving HIV testing rates among FSWs.

HIV self-testing for partners of women attending antenatal care in Central region, Uganda: uptake and linkage to care

Principal investigator: Rhoda Wanyenze
Organisation: Makerere University School of Public Health

The study seeks to evaluate the impact of an integrated delivery of HIV self-testing kits to partners and family members through pregnant women attending antenatal care (ANC) at selected facilities in Central region, Uganda. The integrated delivery of HIVST aims to promote partner and couple self-testing. The study will also evaluate several secondary outcomes including linkage to care, acceptability of partner or couple HIV self-testing among the HIV-positive and negative women and uptake of HIV testing by other family members. The study will cluster randomise, by day,  1,800 couples who are visiting an ANC clinic at three designated public-health facilities. The first arm (standard of care) will include education for women to encourage their partners to test at the health facility. The second arm (intervention) will include the offer of HIV self-test kits.  

Interviews will be conducted with women in the two groups at baseline and at one and three months post enrolment to describe the experiences and outcomes.

The study will also address some of the challenges with the current testing strategies that inhibit male partners and family members in health care. Evidence from this study will provide information on HIV self-testing for couples and male partner testing for pregnant women.

At a glance

  • 3ie expects to fund two grants of no more than US$450,000. Each grant will fund one project, and each project will combine both the implementation of the pilot intervention and the conduct of the impact evaluation.
  • The call is open to organisations implementing HIV and AIDS programmes in Uganda. For-profit organisations are also eligible to apply.
  • While grant money can be used to fund the implementation, it is expected that most of the intervention will be funded using other resources, with 3ie grant funding used for the impact evaluation and for adjustments or additions to current programming to facilitate the impact evaluation.
  • Organisations may submit more than one proposal and may be included on more than one proposal. They should, however, have the capacity to implement and evaluate any and all grants awarded to them under the window.
  • A team applying for a grant may include multiple organisations e.g., one organisation that will implement the pilot programme and one organisation that will conduct the impact evaluation. But a single organisation must apply for the grant as the prime grantee and then issue sub-awards to other team members.
  • All proposals must include at least one resident Ugandan national professional among their key personnel for the impact evaluation portion of the project. The Ugandan researcher must provide meaningful contributions to both the design and the analysis of the impact evaluation.

How to apply

For instructions on how to apply, please read the RFP and visit the How to Apply page to download requisite documents for your application.

Any questions about this window or call for proposals should be sent to

About 3ie’s Thematic Window 2 on HIV Self-Testing, Uganda

  • 3ie’s grant window for HIV self-testing will provide grants for implementing pilot interventions using oral HIV self-tests in Uganda as well as conducting rapid impact evaluations of those pilot interventions. 
  • The goal of this grant window is to provide evidence that the Ministry of Health and National AIDS Control Program can use in determining whether and how to implement and scale up the availability of oral HIV self-tests and related services such as, access to counselling and linkage to care. 
  • 3ie hosted a matchmaking event in Uganda in August 2015 for researchers and HIV and AIDS programme implementers intending to submit a proposal to 3ie’s Thematic Window 2 for evaluating pilot programmes using HIV self-tests in Uganda. The primary aim of this impact evaluation matchmaking event was to match health researchers who have strong knowledge of impact evaluations, researchers working on HIV prevention and/or HIV self-testing in Uganda and HIV and AIDS programme implementers, to explore possibilities of partnership.


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