Population Dynamics & Reproductive Health

Population, Reproductive Health and Poverty

Progress towards goals 4 (reducing child mortality) and 5 (improving maternal health) of the millennium development goals (MDGs) has been generally slow in sub-Saharan Africa.  To meet these and other MDGs, sub-Saharan Africa’s best hope remains its vast and untapped Human Capital. Yet, about 4 million infants and children continue to die annually from preventable causes, whilst unchecked unintended pregnancy increasingly contributes to unsafe abortion and consequently poor maternal health outcomes. Emerging evidence asserts that the disparity in key family planning and sexual reproductive health indicators is widening, making it clear that our Human Capital has been and is under threat. We need to focus our efforts toward providing robust scientific evidence to guide crucial policy generation and implementation to curb the needless hemorrhage. In doing this we would not only have a fighting chance at meeting the MDGs but we would also have saved and positively impacted countless lives.

Current Project

Understanding and Preventing Social Harms and Abuses of Oral HIV Self-testing in Kenya

Program: Population Dynamics & Reproductive Health


The overall aim of the study is to assess the potential social harms and abuses associated with oral HIV self-testing among male and female adults aged 15-49 years in Kenya.

HIV/AIDS remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. Women and youth aged 15-24 years are disproportionately affected by HIV. The majority of those living with HIV/AIDS (69%) as well as the largest proportion of new infections (72%) are in sub- Saharan Africa. The percentage of the general population who are aware of their HIV status is less than 20%, a factor that may be contributing to the large numbers in new infections each year relative to other regions of the world. In response to preliminary findings indicating relatively high approval and potential acceptance of oral HIV testing, this study aims to assess and quantify perceived social harms and abuses that may arise from widespread availability of oral HIV testing kits. Using both qualitative and quantitative approaches, the study will explore potential social harms that could emanate from self-testing in the study population, identify potential strategies to mitigate these harms, and assess the factors associated with social harm perceptions. A comprehensive review of the literature on social harms associated with diagnostic self-testing will also be conducted. The results of this study will inform the designing, development and implementation of HIV prevention and control strategies targeted at promoting the safe use of oral HIV testing kits as an alternative to conventional avenues of HIV testing.


Project Period

  • May – December 2013



Project Funders

  • 3ie logo

    www.3ieimpact.org       ...

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