Creating demand for fishermen’s schistosomiasis and HIV services (FISH): piloting and delivery of a three-arm cluster randomised control trial (cRCT) in Malawi
Dr Augustine Choko
Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme
HIV remains a public health problem despite large scale efforts aimed at diagnosing people living with the virus (PLWH) as well as ensuring they have life-saving treatment. While there have been reductions in new HIV infections worldwide, certain groups remain a challenge to reach with proven interventions. HIV self-testing (HIVST) is a novel method that allows people to conduct their own HIV test and it can be used to target hard-to-reach groups, including high-risk men living in fishing communities who are also at risk of schistosomiasis caused by parasitic flatworms called schistosomes that are acquired through water contact.
My previous HIVST work showed that providing HIV tests through a female partner or a peer was highly acceptable to men and fishermen. In this study, I will use peers to educate and promote uptake of tests for HIV and schistosomiasis using a randomised trial comparing three approaches that includes HIVST.
My study will determine the best way to boost HIV and schistosomiasis testing in this difficult to reach group.