Home-based HIV testing and counseling in rural and urban Kenyan communities

Warren Dalal, Daniel R. Feikin, Manase Amolloh, Ray Ransom, Heather Burke, Fillet Lugalia, Alice Ouma, Kayla F. Laserson, Jonathan Mermin, Robert F. Breiman, Rebecca Bunnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: In sub-Saharan Africa, most people with HIV do not know they are infected. METHODS: We conducted door-to-door home-based testing and counseling (HBTC) in rural western Kenya (Lwak) and an informal urban settlement in Nairobi (Kibera) in 2008. After consent, eligible persons (adults and adolescents aged 13 years or older and children aged 12 years or younger, whose biologic mother was HIV-infected or deceased) received parallel fingerstick HIV rapid testing and counseling. Persons newly diagnosed with HIV were referred to care services, fingerstick blood for CD4 testing was collected, and a one-month follow-up home visit was conducted. RESULTS: Among 24,450 people who were offered HBTC, 19,966 (81.7%) accepted; 65.4% of whom were HIV-tested for the first time. Prevalence in adults aged 18 years or older being HIV-tested for the first time was 13.5% (12.6%, Kibera; 14.2%, Lwak). Among adults who reported a previously negative test, HIV prevalence was 7.4% (7.2%, Kibera; 7.6%, Lwak). Among all persons with HIV in these communities, two-thirds were newly diagnosed through HBTC. Median CD4 count among newly diagnosed adults was 403 [interquartile range (IQR) = 252-594]. Among couples, 38.0% in Kibera and 51.7% in Lwak were counseled together. Among HIV-infected people in a couple, 34.6% had an HIV-uninfected partner. Among newly diagnosed HIV-infected persons, at the one-month follow-up visit, 53.6% in Kibera and 43.6% in Lwak reported having visited an HIV patient support center. CONCLUSIONS: HBTC acceptance was high and most HIV-infected persons did not previously know they had HIV. HBTC can be an effective strategy for early HIV diagnosis and treatment referral.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e47-e54
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • CD4 count
  • HIV
  • HIV prevention
  • Kenya
  • discordant couples
  • home-based counseling and testing
  • universal access

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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