HIV Testing Services in Africa: Are They Sustainable?


HIV testing services (HTS) are an essential component of a national response to the HIV epidemic, and in lower and middle income countries, at least 150 million persons are tested annually. HIV testing is necessary to identify persons in need of antiretroviral treatment, which has been documented to be highly effective not only for treatment but also for prevention of HIV transmission to both adults and children. An assessment of the recent literature on sustainability of health and HIV services suggests that organizational performance, flexibility, and integration with other health interventions contribute to sustainability of HIV services and programs. This article describes the experiences of two HIV testing service providers in Uganda and Zambia as well as the track record of services to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission to illustrate the factors of performance, flexibility, adaptability, and integration which are key to the sustainability of HIV testing services.

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The authors acknowledge the assistance of Rosina Makhubela, Mwansa Katunga, and Elise Soerensen of the Development Aid from People to People, Zambia; Henry Leku Lulu and Moses Sembatya of the AIDS Information Centre, Uganda; and Stephanie Behel of CDC Atlanta. This report and the projects described have been supported by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and by the US Agency for International Development.

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Correspondence to Elizabeth Marum.

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Elizabeth Marum, Martha Conkling, Jabez Kanyanda, Sheila Birungi, Robert Byaruhanga, and Mary Grace Alwano declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the authors.

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Disclaimer: The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This article is part of the Topical Collection on The Global Epidemic

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Marum, E., Conkling, M., Kanyanda, J. et al. HIV Testing Services in Africa: Are They Sustainable?. Curr HIV/AIDS Rep 13, 263–268 (2016).

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  • HIV tests
  • HIV testing services
  • Sustainability
  • Integration
  • Africa