H3Africa PI: Dr Mitch Matoga
Institution: UNC Project
Introduction: Malawi has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world, and young people aged 18-24 years are particularly affected. In a university setting, the risk of HIV transmission is high due to factors such as multiple sexual partners and inconsistent condom use. Routine HIV testing and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) are two effective strategies for reducing the spread of HIV among this population. However, the feasibility and acceptability of these strategies in a university setting in Malawi are not well understood.
To assess the feasibility of implementing routine HIV testing and PrEP among youth aged 18-24 years in a Malawian university setting.
1. To determine the acceptability of routine HIV testing and PrEP among youth aged 18-24 years in a Malawian university setting.
2. To evaluate the effect of routine HIV testing and PrEP on early diagnosis and prevention of HIV among youth aged 18-24 years in a Malawian university setting.
Methods: This study will employ a mixed-methods approach, including both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods. The study will be conducted in a university setting in Malawi with a high incidence of HIV infection among youth. The study population will consist of youth aged 18-24 years who are sexually active and at high risk for HIV infection.
Quantitative methods will include a cross-sectional survey to assess the acceptability of routine HIV testing and PrEP among the study population. The survey will also collect data on HIV testing behaviors and PrEP usage. Data on early diagnosis of HIV will be collected from medical records and analyzed.
Qualitative methods will include in-depth interviews with a subsample of the study population to explore their experiences and attitudes towards routine HIV testing and PrEP. Additionally, focus group discussions will be conducted with healthcare providers.
Expected Outcomes: The results of this study will provide valuable information on the feasibility and acceptability and it will also provide insights into the effects of these strategies on early diagnosis and prevention of HIV. The findings can inform the development of effective HIV prevention programs targeting youth in Malawi’s university settings.