Since 1998, LVCT Health has been a leader in the delivery of HIV testing services (HTS) in Kenya. We recognize that the country`s 90-90-90 targets cannot be attained without investing in effective strategies to identify HIV positive individuals who do not know their status and linking them to care.
In 2016-17, we provided HTS to 1,418,097 persons through various strategies, contributing 10% of the total number of persons tested nationally. Of these 22,535 (2%) were tested positive and 82% were linked to care.
We offer HTS to the general population; Priority Populations: including adolescents and youth, and Key Population: Men who have Sex with Men (MSM), Female Sex Workers (FSW), and People Who Inject Drugs (PWID).
We use different strategies to reach populations with HTS including: static community sites (VCT and community HIV prevention sites), targeted community outreach, provider initiated testing and counselling in Ministry of Health facilities, door to door testing (home based testing and counselling), work place testing and will introduce self-testing when it is scaled up in the country.
Our HTS services are available at different sites found across 25 counties in Kenya. We deliver quality services in line with the national HTS guidelines and other relevant national policy guidelines as developed by NASCOP. All our counsellors are professionally trained and certified by the Ministry of Health to deliver HTS services.
LVCT health has been instrumental in innovations on HTS including successful implementation of Partner Notification Services, a strategy through which we aim to test all sexual partners of people who test HIV positive.
LVCT Health piloted an innovative strategy for testing partners of HIV positive index clients in 2015-16. This resulted in HIV positivity of 35% among the partners identified compared to 2% positivity in other HTS strategies. This innovative strategy was included as a case study in the 2016 WHO guidelines on partner notification services and subsequent WHO publications and newsletters. LVCT Health is currently leading the scale up of Partner Notification Service in the country through implementation and training of other partners. We are also working with the ministry of health to develop national guidelines for assisted partner notification services.
HIV self-testing (HIVST)
LVCT Health has conducted research on HIV self-testing. We were part of the team that developed the Kenyan national HIV self-testing (HIVST) operational guidelines that was launched in 2017. We continue to work with the government, donors and private sector to facilitate availability of HIVST kits through selected outlets and ensure availability of correct information.
Linkage to care
All HIV positive individuals should be initiated into care immediately after diagnosis to ensure good health outcomes and reduce chances of HIV transmission. Our counsellors use some or all of the following strategies to link HIV positive individuals to care and treatment with the clients’ consent:
Through use of these strategies, over 85% of the HIV positive individuals tested at LVCT health sites are linked to care.