HIV Self-Testing Africa Initiative – Research

Protocols and tools

Approved protocols and key tools for STAR research are as follows:


Overview of content of baseline survey

STAR endline survey tool



Through a combination of qualitative and quantitative research, the Zambia studies aim to add to the evidence base on the acceptability, feasibility, accuracy and effective delivery strategies for HIV self-testing (HIVST) in Zambia. This is being done through a Clinical Performance Study, and an Impact Evaluation involving conducting a cluster randomised trial of community-based HIVST distribution.



Protocol for a cluster randomised trial of interventions to improve linkage to care following community-based distribution of HIV self-test kits in rural Zimbabwean communities, with supporting forms:

Protocol for a study exploring the feasibility and acceptability of HIV self-testing in Zimbabwe, including piloting various models of distributing HIV self-testing kits in the general population and among female sex workers.



(a) General Population

The HIV STAR-Malawi general population protocol describes research investigating the costs and benefits of introducing HIVST to the general population in Malawi.  This research includes pilot work estimating the acceptability and accuracy of self-tests among intended users; as well as a cluster-randomised impact evaluation studying the effectiveness of community self-test distribution in increasing testing uptake.

  • Protocol describing all work investigating the feasibility and acceptability of HIV self-testing among the general population in rural Malawi.

Note that adolescent assent forms were also made available for studies including respondents under 18 years of age.

(b) Key Populations

The HIV-STAR Malawi key populations protocol describes research to understand the feasibility, benefits, and potential harms of introducing HIVST among female sex workers (FSW) in Malawi. This includes formative research to understand the testing needs of FSW, and piloting peer-led distribution of HIVST, and monitoring of social harms resulting from the introduction of HIVST.

  • Protocol describing all research on the acceptability of introducing HIVST to FSW in Malawi.

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