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angle-left RI-MUHC Project One of the Six Canadian Innovations Scaling Up to Improve Global Health

July 21, 2016

Dr Nikita Pant Pai and her team receive next-step scale-up funding from Grand Challenges Canada for their smartphone-based HIV self-test application (HIVSmart!)

Five out of 10 people infected with HIV worldwide do not know their status. While treatment for HIV is universally available, stigma, discrimination, privacy, and confidentiality concerns are barriers to seeking conventional HIV testing in healthcare facilities. 

The smartphone-based HIV self-test application (HIVSmart!) helped identify undiagnosed HIV cases and people at risk of infection. In a trial of 251 healthcare workers, all those who self-tested positive for HIV sought counselling and care.   

With new support from Grand Challenges Canada and partners, HIVSmart! will be implemented and tested across South Africa. The scale-up of HIVSmart! aims to improve and save the lives of about 300 individuals who are estimated to be found to be HIV positive and linked to counselling and care, and 1500 lives will be improved through enhanced access to testing and improved linkages to clinical care and retention, thereby reducing the risk of transmission and infection in the communities. Read more