USF St. Petersburg campus Faculty Publications


The Impact of the SEERs Project on HIV Testing in Kenya

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Tiffany Chenneville

Kemesha Gabbidon

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Compared to other key populations, adolescents living in sub-Saharan Africa experience a high HIV disease burden. To address this, organizations have implemented a variety of youth-oriented HIV prevention strategies, including the HIV SEERs Project. SEERs is an innovative, community-based program designed with and for youth in Kenya to reduce HIV stigma (a known barrier to HIV testing), and increase treatment and retention in care. While preliminary research has demonstrated SEERs efficacy for increasing HIV knowledge and decreasing stigma, information about its efficacy as a means to increase HIV testing has been limited to assessing behavioral intentions. To address this limitation, SEERs facilitators partnered with 20 local HIV agencies in 2018 to offer on-site HIV testing during SEERs programming. The purpose of this article is to examine the impact, as well as the benefits and challenges of SEERs programming on HIV testing and linkage to care. SEERs facilitators collected and reported the following data monthly over the course of the year: number of locations for SEERs programming, number and age range of SEERs attendees, number of attendees who screened for HIV and, among those, the number who tested positive and were linked to care. Facilitators also provided written descriptions of the benefits and challenges of implementing the SEERs programming. We analyzed HIV testing data using descriptive statistics and used qualitative data to describe facilitators’ perceptions of the benefits and challenges of implementing the SEERs program. We discuss the contributions of these findings to the existing literature and explore future directions.