The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that only 12% of men and 10% of women in sub-Saharan Africa have been tested for HIV and know their test results. Home-based counselling and testing (HBCT) offers a novel approach to complement facility-based provider initiated testing and counselling (PITC) and voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) and could greatly increase HIV prevention opportunities. However, there is almost no evidence that large-scale, door-to-door testing is even feasible in settings with both limited resources and significant stigma around HIV and AIDS. To describe our experience with the feasibility and acceptance of home-based HIV counselling and testing (HBCT) in two large, rural, administrative divisions of western Kenya. The USAID-AMPATH Partnership conducted population-based, house-to-house HIV counselling and testing in western Kenya between June 2007 and June 2009. All individuals aged > or = 13 years and all eligible children were offered HBCT. Children were eligible if they were above 13 years of age, and their mother was either HIV-positive or had unknown HIV serostatus, or if their mother was deceased or whose vital status was unknown. Kosirai and Turbo Divisions, Rift Valley Province, Kenya. There were 47,066 households approached in 294 villages: 97% of households allowed entry. Of the 138,026 individuals captured, 101,167 individuals were eligible for testing: 89% of adults and 58% of children consented to HIV testing. The prevalence of HIVin these communities was 3.0%: 2.7% in adults and 3.7% among children. Prevalence was highest in the 36-45 year age group and was almost always higher among women and girls. All persons testing HIV-positive were referred to Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) for further assessment and care; all consenting persons were counselled on HIV risk-lowering behaviours. Home-based HIV counselling and testing was feasible among this rural population in western Kenya, with a majority of the population accepting to get tested. These data suggest that scaling-up of HBCT is possible and may enable large numbers of individuals to know their HIV serostatus in sub-Saharan Africa. More research is needed to describe the cost-effectiveness and clinical impact of this approach.
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