Host organisation: Rakai Health Sciences Program; a collaboration between Makerere University (Uganda), Columbia and Johns Hopkins Universities (USA)

Project title: Effect of a pilot male-delivered HIV self-testing intervention on HIV testing and linkage to HIV care among men in rural Uganda

Dr Joseph Matovu is a Research Associate/Honorary Lecturer at Makerere University School of Public Health. A Behavioural Research Scientist by training, he was recently awarded his PhD (Public Health) by Makerere University and he holds a Master of Health Science degree (International Health) from Johns Hopkins University (USA). His areas of interest include health service research, capacity building/mentorship and scientific writing. He has 20 years’ experience in health research and around 50 publications to his name.

AREF Fellowship research project:

While previous efforts to reach men with HIV testing services through their female partners have resulted in impressive HIV testing rates among men, gender disparity has continued to deter men from going for HIV tests. This begs the question: can a male-delivered HIV self-testing intervention, in which men receive testing kits from other men, help to address male masculinity norms and influence men’s uptake of HIV testing services and linkage to HIV care, if HIV-infected? To address this question, he plans to conduct a formative, male-delivered HIV testing service intervention to assess the feasibility of using men to deliver testing kits to other men. He proposes that the use of men to reach other men with these kits will increase service uptake among men.

Dr Matovu undertook his AREF Fellowship at the Rakai Health Sciences Program under the sponsorship of Prof David Serwaadda, the Principal Investigator of the Rakai Community Cohort Study (RCCS) in Uganda. Through David, he had access to data and permission to collect data from the Rakai Community Cohort Study communities. Dr Rhoda Wanyenze (Dean of Makerere University School of Public Health) has also continued to support Dr Matovu’s professional development after the Fellowship.