HIV Self-Testing Africa Initiative – Research

2016 STAR Blog

16th December 2016 – Behind the scenes with the Zambart lab’s principal STAR scientist


In her first blog, Loveness Mukaka, a Laboratory Scientist at Zambart, gives an insight into the vital role played by lab teams working on HIV self-testing under the STAR project.




24th November 2016 – Update on STAR research studies in Zimbabwe


Mary Tumushime, CeSHHAR’s STAR Research Coordinator, provides an update on the population based survey, qualitative research, and sex worker distribution programme.


November 2016 – Qualitative Research Network – The power of bringing STAR countries’ researchers and implementers together


PSI’s Zimbabwe STAR Programme Manager, Miriam Mutseta, reflects in her blog on the approaches of and benefits from collaboration between STAR researchers and implementers on activities such as developing a curriculum for healthcare workers on HIV self-testing.


8 July 2016 – Why engaging traditional leaders is vital for the success of STAR

In this topic, PSI looks at the importance of the support of traditional leaders to community based initiatives such as the STAR project, and how the STAR project is currently working with traditional leaders in three districts within Malawi to increase the accessibility of HIV testing. Find out more about they work.


6 July 2016 – Community health workers: The true heroes of HIV self-testing

In his blog, Justin Matheson-Turner explains how community health workers, such as those involved in the recent visit of PSI Global Ambassador Debra Messing to Blantyre, Malawi, are vital to the success of the STAR project.


4 July 2016 – Update on HIV STAR research studies in Zimbabwe

Mary blog - July 2016 - pic1


Ms Mary Tumushime, a Coordinator on STAR at CeSHHAR in Zimbabwe, shares in this blog the latest news on their STAR population based survey, Discrete Choice Experiments, key informant interviews and preparations for the main STAR study.



30 June 2016 – Where we’ve come from and where we’re going with HIVST

Director HIV Dept being filmed 1

Liz Corbett, Professor of Tropical Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, shares in this blog the reasons why work in Malawi is of such importance to the field of HIV research, as well as early findings from STAR. Members of the STAR team were in Blantyre, Malawi from 27 June to 1 July with PSI Global Ambassador Debra Messing to learn more about how HIVST can contribute to achieving the UN’s 90-90-90 targets.


29 June 2016 – Bringing HIV self-testing policy to the forefront

HIVST policy blog

HIV self-testing provides people with a low-cost and discreet way to learn their HIV status. WHO is working with the UNITAID/PSI Self-Test Africa programme to provide inspiration and guidance to countries and organisations implementing similar programs so the world can reach the UN’s 90-90-90 goal. Read the blog by Cheryl Johnson and Rachel Baggaley from the World Health Organization to Learn more about how to help 90% of people living with HIV to know their status by 2020.


28 June 2016 – Meet HIV self-testing Musketeer Harrison Gwaze


Members of the STAR project were in Malawi last week with PSI Global Ambassador Debra Messing, learning more about the importance of community engagement in implementing the UNITAID/PSI Self-Test Africa project. STAR relies on community distributors like Harrison Gwaze to distribute HIV self-testing kits. In Zimbabwe, Harrison provides a personal and informative service to his neighbours, like Weston Kandawasvika, who hadn’t wanted to go to a clinic to learn his HIV status. Check out the blog by Sabrina Sidhu from UNITAID, to find out what he did, and how it affected his pregnant wife, Patience.


27 June 2016 – What is the potential for HIV self-testing in Africa

In the first blog of a series of four posts on STAR, Karin Hatzold, Deputy Director of HIV/TB at PSI and Project Director of the STAR project, looks at how HIVST has the potential to radically change the current situation, in which an estimated 46% of people living with HIV globally are unaware of their status, and highlights preliminary findings from pilot community based HIVST distribution in Zimbabwe.


May 2016 – PSI mobile outreach visit

Marc blog - May '16 - pic1

Dr Marc D’Elbée, a Research Fellow in Health Economics at LSHTM, and colleagues visited a New Start PSI mobile centre in rural Zimbabwe to learn about the procedure by which people are tested for HIV, as explained in his latest blog.


May 2016 – HIV STAR research studies in Zimbabwe

Mary blog May 2016 - 1


Ms Mary Tumushime is a Coordinator on STAR at CeSHHAR in Zimbabwe. On her blog, she introduces studies planned to investigate issues relating to community based distribution of HIV self-testing kits.



May 2016 – HIV STAR project: Discrete Choice Experiments in rural Malawi

MDE Malawi trip blog - 23.05.16

Dr Marc D’Elbée is a Research Fellow in Health Economics at LSHTM. In May he visited the Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust’s STAR  team to finalise their Discrete Choice Experiments tool. Find out more about the DCE work.


April 2016 – HIV STAR clinical performance study: Can HIV self-tests be used effectively in rural Zambia?

MN Zambia trip blog - 10.05.16

Dr Melissa Neuman is a Lecturer in Epidemiology at LSHTM. In April 2016 she traveled to Zambia to work with colleagues at Zambart on the STAR clinical performance study. Check out her blog, where you can find more information about her work.


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