Professor Miriam Taegtmeyer and Professor Frances Cowan are key partners in the STAR initiative which aims to stimulate the market for HIV self-test kits through supporting countries in Southern Africa to scale-up self-testing.
LSTM developed and rigorously evaluated innovative test delivery models in Malawi and Zimbabwe that catalysed a supportive regulatory, policy and funding environment both regionally and globally. Seventy seven countries now have HIV self testing policies including 23 in Africa.
Availability of HIV self testing has resulted in rapid scale-up with increased testing coverage particularly among vulnerable, underserved and key populations worldwide. STAR has provided 4,500,000 HIV self-tests across Southern Africa (>2,000,000 for STAR research) and catalysed procurement of another 8,000,000 from major funders. Four manufacturers now have WHO pre-qualified HIV self-test kits available on the world market.