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PreventionRx Study: Home-based Counseling and Testing in Uganda
A ‘platform’ for evaluating combination HIV prevention & care-HIV counseling & testing is essential to optimize HIV services. In collaboration with the University of Washington and the Integrated Community Based Initiatives (ICOBI) NGO in Uganda, CCGHE has adapted the emocha® platform to deliver smartphone-assisted, home-based HIV prevention messaging and follow-up. The PreventionRx Study piloted this novel emocha® application; an existing household-based HIV counseling and testing intervention in the Busheyni district of southwest Uganda was complemented with an eMOCHA®-based HIV risk assessment protocol designed to identify and triage individuals to HIV care and prevention services based on behavioural risk factors and HIV serostatus. This platform was used to target those at highest risk for transmitting HIV (i.e. individuals with multiple partnerships, HIV-infected persons unaware of their serostatus, and HIV serodiscordant couples); in addition to standard HIV prevention messaging for all participants, emocha® was used to administer a questionnaire for HIV risk assessment and then deliver an individualized HIV "prevention prescription" to those deemed high-risk based on HIV serostatus, risk factors, and risk behaviors. The PreventionRx algorithm contained brief counseling messages, follow-up questions, information about local resources and referral for appropriate HIV prevention services. Participants who received referrals for care were followed up monthly for up to 3 months to provide additional counseling and assess uptake.