According to the 2014 Kenya HIV Prevention Revolution Roadmap and 2012 Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey there are approximately 1.3 to 1.6 million people who are currently living with HIV in Kenya (5.6% of men and 7.6% women aged 15-64). Sexual transmission accounts for 93.7% of Kenya’s new infections where Key HIV populations are reported to contribute to a third of all new infections. These populations are; Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) and prison population (15.2%), sex workers and their clients (14.1%), Injecting Drug Users (3.8%): Young women (aged 15-24 years) contribute 21% of new infections yearly. The total number of reported HIV related deaths in 2013 was 58,465. This evidence calls for innovative research on new approaches to prevention of HIV transmission.
LVCT Health’s HIV research aims to address the practice and policy gaps in HIV Testing, prevention and integration of HIV and sexual and gender based violence health care services. LVCT Health conducts research on: emerging testing technologies such as oral self-testing kits; new approaches in HIV prevention such as pre-exposure prophylaxis and operations research to test HIV service delivery. We focus our research on populations that are most at risk of HIV infections such as heterosexual couples, young women, Sex Workers and men who have sex with men. The HIV research priorities at LVCT Health focus on:
Combination HIV prevention that incorporates Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP): LVCT Health is currently conducting research to provide evidence on the deliverability of PrEP as part of HIV combination prevention package in Kenya. Target is on young women at risk of HIV, men who have sex with men (MSM) and female sex workers (FSW).
HIV Self-testing: LVCT Health has conducted research to determine the effective strategies for enhancing linkage to confirmatory testing and counselling services after HIVST. LVCT Health has also conducted research explore perspectives of lay users towards HIVST and gain an in-depth understanding of the concept and utility of emerging HIV self-test prototypes.
Research on Populations that are vulnerable to HIV: LVCT Health is conducting a study to determine the deliverability of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis among MSM, female sex workers and young women at risk of HIV. This study will be conducted in Nairobi, Kisumu and Homa Bay Counties.