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News & insights

Date: April 2022 | Client: Unitaid | Sector: Global health | Expertise: Health economics & evaluation

Unitaid HIV self-testing evaluation

Knowledge of HIV status is critical for curbing the HIV epidemic. In 2015 prior to any Unitaid investment in HIV self-testing (HIVST), UNAIDS estimated that of 36.9 million people living with HIV (46%), did not know their status. HIVST was first recommended by the WHO in 2016 and is emerging as an accessible, convenient and confidential method to: (i) diagnose people living with HIV; (ii) support the prevention of HIV in high-risk HIV-negative individuals; (iii) ensure access to treatment or preventative services; (iv) expand coverage of HIV testing (including for key populations); and (v) improve the efficiency and effectiveness of health systems.  

CEPA was appointed by Unitaid to evaluate its portfolio of HIVST investments across several regions in Africa and Asia in HIVST market shaping and to assess the contribution of HIVST to PrEP uptake in select sub-Saharan African countries. The scope covered the following Unitaid programs:

  • HIV Self-Testing AfRica (STAR) Initiative, led by Population Services International (PSI) and Society for Family Health (SFH) South Africa, 2015 - 2022
  • Autotest de dépistage du VIH (ATLAS Project), led by Solthis, 2018 - 2022
  • Market Shaping investment for HIVST, 2020-2022
  • Accelerating demand for HIVST among young people (MTV Shuga), led by MTV Staying Alive Foundation (MTV SAF), 2018 - 2022

The evaluation covered HIVST projects across 16 countries, with country case studies in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire and India. The evaluation assessed the relevance, coherence, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability, and lessons learned of the portfolio, including analysis of the differences in uptake of HIVST across different epidemic contexts and Unitaid’s contribution to closing the HIV testing gap through HIVST. CEPA also led the Mid-term evaluation of Unitaid’s HIV Self-Testing AfRica (STAR) Initiative in 2017.

The evaluation report can be downloaded from here and the Executive Summary is available here.

To find out more, please contact our experts listed below.

Suzanne Fournier
Managing Consultant United Kingdom